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05/26/10 12:00 AM ET

Twins out to keep Yanks' bats muffled

Don't be surprised if the Yankees make a couple of lineup alterations when they play the Twins on Wednesday evening at Target Field, following the completion of Tuesday's suspended game, which will begin at 4:05 p.m. CT. And don't be surprised if Minnesota left-hander Francisco Liriano rebounds from a personal slump.

The Yankees went 2-5 last week, and manager Joe Girardi said there might be some shifting of the batting order, although it's always something skippers should be careful doing.

"You can think about doing different things," Girardi said. "I believe our guys are going to hit. Guys are going to go through periods where they struggle. If every time they struggle, you move them in the order, you just might as well play musical chairs or pull names out of a hat.

"We've lost a few hitters. At one point, we had our two, six, seven and eight [hitters] out. But we did score runs. I just think it's what you go through over the course of the season. You can't say that our seven-eight-nine have not swung the bats well. They have. We just didn't play well for a week."

Meanwhile, after going 3-0 with a 0.93 ERA in April, Liriano has slowed down significantly in May, going 1-3 with a 6.08 ERA in four starts this month.

In his last start, against the Red Sox, Liriano didn't have his slider working and delivered his shortest start of the year, going 4 2/3 innings while giving up five runs on five hits.

Liriano also saw his homerless streak come to an end in the start. He had pitched 51 2/3 innings without giving up a long ball until Adrian Beltre hit a solo drive with one out in the second inning.

"I think I'm making too many mistakes," Liriano said. "I think I'm trying to make a perfect pitch. I'm getting too many pitches down the middle with men on base. I don't get the same results when I don't locate my fastball the way I want."

Yankees: Pettitte looking to rebound
Veteran lefty Andy Pettitte struggled mightily in his last start, his worst of the season. Pitching against the division rival Tampa Bay Rays, Pettitte gave up seven runs (six earned) in five-plus innings and took his first loss of the season. It was also Pettitte's first loss in 14 starts, dating back to October 2009. Pettitte shut out the Twins over 6 1/3 innings on May 15, the last time he faced Minnesota, and is 10-5 with a 3.53 ERA in 20 career starts against the club. ... Outfielder Nick Swisher is hitting .349 (22-for-63) with five home runs, 13 RBIs and 16 runs scored in 19 games in May. He hit a combined .164 with four homers and 16 RBIs in 54 games over his previous two Mays (2008-09).

Twins: Morneau an on-base machine
First baseman Justin Morneau has reached base a Major League-high 95 times this year, and his .497 on-base percentage and 109 total bases are both the best in baseball. Morneau has reached safely in 39 of 42 games played. ... This will be the second time Liriano faces New York in his past three starts. He gave up three runs on nine hits and struck out seven over six innings in a loss the last time he faced the team, on May 15.

Worth noting
Yankees outfielder Curtis Granderson, sidelined with a left groin strain, is on track to rejoin the club on Friday from his rehabilitation assignment with Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. Granderson went 0-for-3 with a strikeout on Tuesday and is scheduled to rest on Wednesday and play again Thursday. ... Twins designated hitter Jim Thome has 1,581 career RBIs. He currently ranks 38th on the all-time RBI list and needs two to tie Al Kaline (1,583) and three to tie Rogers Hornsby and former Twins great Harmon Killebrew at 1,584.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.


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