MINNEAPOLIS — The banged-up Twins weren’t ready to go quietly into the night.
Mere hours after losing Alex Kirilloff, which forced backup infielder Nick Gordon into extended action as their seventh center fielder of the season, the Twins entered the ninth inning on Thursday facing a two-run deficit against Aroldis Chapman and the Yankees — this club’s historical nemesis.
Two big swings of the bat erased that in a hurry. Josh Donaldson hit a game-tying two-run homer, then Nelson Cruz walked it off with a two-run homer of his own, lifting the Twins to a 7-5 win at Target Field.
With the Twins down, 5-3, entering the ninth, Jorge Polanco led off with a single before Donaldson tied the game with a blast into the upper deck in left-center field. That got the crowd rolling — and that crescendoed to a fever pitch when Willians Astudillo then singled and lost his helmet while celebrating at first base.
Cruz’s game-ending swing sent the ball a Statcast-projected 457 feet to center, sending the crowd into a frenzy.