Kubel leads Twins over Yankees via grand slam

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kubel congratulated.jpgThe Yankees ended a 12-game drought against the Yankees Sunday thanks to a go-ahead grand slam in the top of the eighth inning from Jason Kubel.  It was his only hit of the game, but it was a big one.  Even more impressive, he hit the slam off Yankees closer Mariano Rivera. 

The Twins trailed 3-1 heading into the eighth.  But Denard Span hit a single to shallow left, Joe Mauer walked, Michael Cuddyer singled, Jim Thome walked with the bases loaded, and then Kubel cleared ’em.  The Twinkies are now 6-29 in the Bronx under manager Ron Gardenhire’s leadership.  More importantly, they’re 23-14 and own a 1.5-game lead over the Tigers in the AL Central.

Kubel, 27, hasn’t had the best start this year.  He’s currently hitting just .225 with a 661 OPS and two home runs in 98 at-bats.  Perhaps the exciting four-run shot will get his juices flowing.

Melvin Upton released by the Giants

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Jon Heyman reports that the Giants have released outfielder Melvin Upton. He requested his release.

Upton, who turned 33 yesterday, signed with San Francisco in early April after the Blue Jays released him. It was a minor league deal. After recovering from a rash of minor injuries, Upton batted .244/.306/.333 in 12 games at Triple-A Sacramento. There was no indication that the Giants were going to call him up. I presume that, back when they signed him, they figured they’d be contending and could maybe use a veteran bat. That’s obviously not the case anymore.

I suppose it’s possible that someone gives Upton a look when rosters expand in eight days, but I figure it’s more likely that we’ll next see him as he fights to make a team on a minor league deal next spring.

Carlos Santana left last night’s game with back tightness

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Andrew Miller leaving last night’s Indians-Red Sox game got all the press, but the Indians lost another key player in the game as well: Carlos Santana. He was forced to leave after going 0-for-3. There was no followup announcement after the game, so he’s likely being reevaluated.

Santana is hitting .250/.355/.446 on the year, but he’s been pretty hot of late, hitting .375 with a couple of homers in the past week.