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Yankees waste chances at bat and on bases in 6-1 loss to Twins

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NEW YORK, N.Y. - The way Brett Gardner sees it, Oswaldo Arcia's two throws were hardly the only reasons the Yankees lost to the Twins.

New York made several mistakes on the bases and Vidal Nuno allowed three home runs in falling 6-1 to Minnesota on Friday night.

"We got beat pretty well," Gardner said.

Facing Ricky Nolasco for the first time, the Yankees put plenty of runners on base but, other than Jacoby Ellsbury's RBI double, they had no success.

Brian Roberts led off the second with a single and got caught in a rundown after he got a bad jump trying to steal second base. Then, with chances to cut into the Twins' lead in the fifth and sixth innings, the Yankees again ran themselves into trouble.

Arcia helped end both rallies with rocket throws from right field. In the fifth, his accurate heave on Derek Jeter's one-out single forced Gardner to hold at third. Jeter strayed too far off first and Gardner broke for home. The speedy Gardner was tagged out in a rundown.

"My job in that situation is, you think there's a play at the plate, you read the throw high and you try to go to second base to trade an out for a run, but Gardy wasn't going," Jeter said. "I assumed he was going and I shouldn't have done that."

Arcia then threw out Roberts trying to score on Yangervis Solarte's single to end the sixth.

"He's always had a good arm," Twins left fielder Josh Willingham said. "I think it's more consistency with him."

In all, New York left nine on base.

Arcia, Willingham and Trevor Plouffe each connected against Nuno (1-2) for the light-hitting Twins, winners for the second time in eight games. Texas and Kanas City were the only American League teams to enter Friday with fewer homers than the Twins' 39.

"It was just leaving fastballs up and you cannot be doing that," Nuno said. "But, overall, it was just another day of going out there, pounding the zone and just keeping guys in the ballgame."

Kurt Suzuki and former Yankees infielder Eduardo Nunez had RBI singles in the eighth, giving Minnesota its highest run total since scoring eight against Boston on May 13.

Nolasco (3-5) has struggled in his first AL season of a nine-year career. He had not won since April 24, a span of six starts.

But the right-hander was effectively wild in keeping New York from making any solid contact. Facing the Yankees for the first time in 240 big league games — 223 starts — Nolasco gave up a run on seven hits and four walks. He struck out three while throwing 107 pitches, 59 for strikes.

"A hard six innings," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "It's never easy against these guys."

Wind was whipping through the stadium when Arcia homered to right field with one out in the second. Several minutes earlier, a brief but heavy rain shower in the first inning sent fans scampering for cover.

Willingham led off the fourth with a drive over the 399-foot marker in left-centre, his second long ball since coming off the disabled list Monday. Arcia followed with a single, then Plouffe hit a two-run shot into Monument Park in centre field for a 4-1 lead.

The four runs allowed by Nuno ended a streak of 14 straight games in which Yankees starters allowed three earned runs or fewer. Nuno retired 11 of the final 12 batters he faced and struck out seven without allowing a walk in 6 2-3 innings.

"His stuff was pretty decent," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "But when he made a mistake, they hit it out of the park."

NOTES: New York is 31-10 against the Twins at Yankee Stadium since 2002, but has won just six of the last 13 between the teams in the Bronx. The Yankees lost three in a row at home to Minnesota for the first time since 1992. ... Yankees OF-DH Carlos Beltran (bone spur, right elbow) was very happy after a pain-free batting practice session. ... New York RHP Shawn Kelley (back) had his first bullpen session since being sidelined May 7. He will likely have another one Sunday. ... Gardenhire said RHP Mike Pelfrey, who had Tommy John surgery in 2012, has inflammation in his elbow and is being treated with medication. Pelfrey's velocity has dropped from low 90s to around 87 mph. Gardenhire said Pelfrey was experiencing tingling in his fingers. ... Up next: Minnesota RHP Kevin Correia (2-6) faces Yankees RHP Masahiro Tanaka (7-1) on Saturday.

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