In the midst of a tight divisional race with the Toronto Blue Jays (66-54), every game is of the utmost importance for the New York Yankees (67-52). Going into play only one game ahead of the Jays, the Yankees offense was mostly listless against RHP Ervin Santana (2-4), and desperately needed a spark. Luckily one of the newest additions to the roster, rookie 1B Greg Bird, was up to the task. He opened the scoring with a two-run HR, the first of his career, in the bottom of the 4th, scoring Carlos Beltran. The Twins jumped out in front in the top of the 6th off of a two-run single by Joe Mauer and an RBI infield single by Trevor Plouffe, off of RHP Nate Eovaldi. The lead wouldn't last long, in the bottom of the 6th Bird once again came to the plate with Beltran on base, and again Bird took Santana deep to put the Yankees up 4-3. This would be the final as Chasen Shreve pitched a scoreless 8th, and Dellin Betances pitched a perfect 9th, earning his eighth save of the season (Andrew Miller was unavailable, having been used in the first two games of the series).
Greg Bird, never a lauded prospect until a strong year split between AA Trenton and AAA Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, maybe be a breath of fresh air for the Yankees major league club. His rise has been rather sudden, with Yankees general manager Brian Cashman went so far as to label Bird "untouchable" in negotiations around the trade deadline (July 31st). He has shown solid power at all levels, but his best skill seems to be his plate discipline. With starting 1B Mark Teixeira suffering from a bone bruise (with no timetable for his return), Bird should have plenty more chances to contribute, and will hopefully mark the continuation of the fledgling Yankees youth movement.