Hideki Matsui and friends; Photo: Jason Szenes/European Pressphoto Agency

The Yankees played a doubleheader against the Minnesota Twins yesterday and Yankee fans hope the result was a taste of things to come. The Twins, the AL Central champs, are a potential opponent for the Yankees in the first round of the playoffs.

In game one, Mike Mussina gave up three runs in the first inning and the Yankees managed only one run and three hits off Johan Santana. Lucky for the Yankees, the Twins have already clinched. Santana was pulled after five innings to rest for the playoffs which begin next week. After Santana left, the Yankees were free to have their way with them - okay, not really, but they notched four runs in the 7th inning and went on to win 5-3 (box score).

Game two started well for the Yankees when they scored three runs off Kyle Lohse in the first inning. Jon Lieber pitched 5.2 innings and gave up two runs on his way to the win. Mariano Rivera picked up his 53rd save of the season. Hideki Matsui had a home run in each of the two games and has 30 on the season.

The victories, combined with Boston's loss to the lowly Devil Rays, means the Yankees can win the AL East with a win Thursday or another Red Sox loss. While watching NBC last night, Gothamist was amused when Len Berman said, "Pedro Martinez has another daddy." The D-Rays scored six runs in five innings against Martinez who called the Yankees his "daddies" last week.

Photo by Jason Szenes/European Pressphoto Agency