Bronx, NY (Sports Network) - Jason Kubel capped a five-run eighth inning with a grand slam off Mariano Rivera, and the Twins snapped an ugly nine-game losing streak to the Yankees with a 6-3 win in the finale of a three-game set from Yankee Stadium.
Nick Blackburn (4-1) pitched a steady seven innings to earn the win, allowing three runs on nine hits. Justin Morneau hit a solo home run and Jim Thome drew a bases-loaded walk from Rivera to start the eighth and help snap the future Hall of Famer's streak of 51 straight saves at home.
The Twins unsuccessfully threatened in the late innings before loading the bases against Joba Chamberlain (1-2) to start the decisive frame. Denard Span singled and Joe Mauer walked before Michael Cuddyer reached on a two-out chopper to first that knicked off the top of Mark Teixeira's glove.
Rivera came on for the four-out save and walked Thome to make it 3-2. Kubel then clubbed a low-and-inside second-pitch cutter to the short porch in right for a sudden 6-3 lead.
A combination of Brian Duensing, Matt Guerrier and Jon Rauch finished out the game for Minnesota. Rauch put the first two on in the ninth before retiring Derek Jeter, Brett Gardner and Teixeira -- all on strikes for his 10th save.
Randy Winn tripled home two runs and Teixeira continued swinging a hot bat with two hits and an RBI for New York, which has still won an astounding 25 of the last 29 meetings between these two teams in the Bronx. Starter Sergio Mitre lasted five-plus frames and gave up a run on four hits and a walk.
Morneau gave the Twins a 1-0 lead when he led off the second inning with a blast over the wall in left-center field for his ninth homer, but the Yankees answered with a pair of two-out runs in the bottom of the inning.
After Blackburn retired the first two batters, Jorge Posada singled and Marcus Thames drew a walk with a 10-pitch at-bat. Winn then drilled a 1-1 offering into the right-center field gap for a triple to give the Yankees the lead.
Both starters settled down from there. The Twins put two on with two out in the fifth, but a hard-hit chopper back through the middle by Span was slowed by Mitre and Ramiro Pena charged from short to get the force at second.
New York then pushed the lead to 3-1. Pena and Jeter started the inning with base hits and Teixeira flared a looping run-scoring single to center just in front of a diving Span. Alex Rodriguez then grounded up the third-base line and Matt Tolbert came home with the throw to nab Jeter at the plate and avoid further damage.
Orlando Hudson led off Minnesota's sixth with a base hit and Mitre was lifted for David Robertson, who promptly walked Mauer. Morneau was caught looking at strike three for the first out and Cuddyer lined into a twin-killing to Pena at short as Hudson was doubled off second.
The Twins again moved a runner into scoring position in the seventh, but Robertson induced a pop fly from Tolbert to cap the frame unharmed.
Blackburn picked up his third win in as many starts while Minnesota improved to 6-1 with the righty on the mound this season...Morneau's league-leading average dipped to .362...Span swiped his ninth base of the year...Posada had two hits for the Yankees...Kubel's grand slam was the sixth of his career...Rivera had yet to give up a run through 11 innings entering Sunday's game.