Ivan Nova was on today, along with the rest of the Yankee bullpen.  They were able to keep the Twins scoreless en route to a 3-0 win.

Nova pitched seven terrific innings, scattering five hits and not allowing a single run earning his 13th win of the season.  David Robertson pitched the eighth and Mariano Rivera entered in the ninth to earn his 33rd save of the season.

Nick Blackburn started the game for Minnesota, but he did not last long.  After a solid first inning, he came out in the second and walked three straight batters before calling the trainer to the Mound.  He was taken out due to an injury which allowed reliever Anthony Swarzak as much time as he needed to warm up. After evaluating Blackburn, the trainer concluded that he sustained a strained right forearm. He will be re-evaluated tomorrow to determine whether the injury is worthy of a stint on the disabled list.

Swarzak came into the game with the bases juiced. He struck out his first batter, Eduardo Nunez, and got Derek Jeter to fly out to keep the game scoreless through two innings.

In the fifth inning, Phil Dumatrait came in to relieve Swarzak, who had held the Yankees scoreless in his 2.2 innings.  Dumatrait got in quite a jam, loading up the bases. However, he was able to get Alex Rodriguez to pop out with two outs, stranding three more Yankees on base.

In the bottom of the fifth, with one man on Danny Valencia hit a soft fly ball to right center.  Curtis Granderson and Nick Swisher were both on line to catch the ball.  Although they did avoid a collision, they also let the ball fall between them.  That gave the Twins men on second and third with no outs. Nova was able to get himself out of that jam with two strikeouts and a soft grounder to keep the game scoreless through five innings.

In the top of the sixth with Dumatrait sill on the mound, the Yankees were able to put up the first run of the game playing small ball.  Robinson Cano started the inning with a double.  Swisher moved him over with a fly ball to deep left and Cano was ultimately batted in by Russell Martin on a sac fly. That gave the Yankees the 1-0 lead in the sixth.

The biggest play of the game came in the seventh inning.  Curtis Granderson stepped into the batters box against Jose Mijares.  He hit a ball high and far, but not out.  It bounced off the top of the scoreboard wall staying in the park. The ball caromed back into the outfield, and Granderson rounded third and slide into home safely for an inside the park homerun.  That homerun tied Granderson with Toronto outfielder, Jose Bautista for the MLB lead at 35. Mark Teixeira hit the very next pitch on a frozen rope, out of the park in left field. That was Teixeira’s 34th homerun, staying in second place in the homerun race. After that inning, the Yankees held a 3-0 lead for the remainder of the game.

That win combined with a win by the Red Sox over the Royals today keeps the Yankees in first place in the AL East by half a game.  The Yankees are off tomorrow.  They are back in action Tuesday August 23rd at home against the Oakland A’s.  We will see Bartolo Colon on the mound for the Yanks facing Oakland’s Brandon McCarthy.  You can catch all your Yankees action on 104.5 “The Team” ESPN Radio!