MINNEAPOLIS (AP) – Be it the majestic views of Target Field or that dusty old hornets' nest they called the Metrodome, it just doesn't seem to matter.
The New York Yankees simply own the Minnesota Twins in the playoffs.
Mark Teixeira hit a tiebreaking, two-run homer in the seventh inning and the Yankees rallied to a 6-4 victory Wednesday night in Game 1 of the AL division series, the Twins' 10th straight postseason loss.
"Game-winning homers," Teixeira said with a wide smile on his face, "there's nothing better."
Yankees ace CC Sabathia labored, but reliever David Robertson fanned Jim Thome in a key spot and Mariano Rivera got the final four outs to close another win for the defending World Series champions. The Yankees rallied from a 3-0 deficit against Francisco Liriano and improved to 10-2 against the Twins in the playoffs since 2003.
Even a blown call by the umpires – shades of the last two postseasons – that went against the Yankees with two outs in the bottom of the ninth didn't hurt them.
"It's just bad luck for Minnesota. We just keep fighting. That's a great team over there. We've played a lot of tough games against them," Teixeira said.
Michael Cuddyer homered, doubled and drove in two runs for the Twins, who played their first outdoor postseason game in Minnesota since 1970. They were hoping a move from the shabby Dome outdoors to gorgeous Target Field would turn their fortunes around, but it was more of the same against the mighty Yankees.
"We've got to get back up on our feet," second baseman Orlando Hudson said. "There's no need for us to sit here and talk about it. This isn't the Twins' curse versus the Yankees. It's a new year. Hey, we've still got to battle."
Rivera recorded his 40th career postseason saves in 45 chances,
Rangers 5, Rays 1
Picking up where he left off during in a dazzling October run a year ago, Cliff Lee shut down Tampa Bay while outpitching David Price and leading Texas to a victory in the opening game of the AL playoffs.
Lee matched a postseason best with 10 strikeouts while allowing five hits – one after the second inning. During one dominating stretch, he retired 16 of 17 batters before giving up Ben Zobrist's homer in the seventh.
The Rangers, in the playoffs for the first time in 11 years, stopped a nine-game postseason losing streak that began in 1996.
Nelson Cruz and Bengie Molina homered for the AL West champions.
Darren O'Day and Darren Oliver pitched the eighth, and rookie Neftali Feliz worked out of a ninth-inning jam by striking out the final two batters.