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Yankees get career-best 8 shutout innings from Clarke Schmidt in 5-0 win to sweep Twins

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MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Clarke Schmidt cruised to a career-long eight shutout innings after Anthony Volpe led off the game with a home run that sparked a three-run first inning, and the New York Yankees finished a three-game sweep with a 5-0 victory over the Minnesota Twins on Thursday.

Schmidt (5-1) scattered a double and two singles without a walk while striking out eight batters and winning his third consecutive start. He lobbied manager Aaron Boone for the ninth, but with a career-high 103 pitches he figured he didn’t have much of a case.

“I was happy he left me out there for as long as he did,” said Schmidt, who has allowed three runs or fewer in each of his nine starts this season.

The 2017 first-round draft pick lowered his ERA from 2.95 to 2.49 while throwing a career-high 103 pitches. His previous long was 6 2/3 innings, matched in his most recent outing at Tampa Bay on Friday.

“He’s got the repertoire to do it, and now he’s becoming really good at executing and having a real feel and command of his entire arsenal,” Boone said.

Gleyber Torres hit two doubles and drove in a run, and Anthony Rizzo, Austin Wells and Alex Verdugo also had RBIs for the Yankees (30-15), who have won 11 of their last 14 games and have the second-best record in the major leagues behind Philadelphia.

Aaron Judge hit two more rockets for doubles and went 2 for 3 with a walk after going 4 for 4 with a walk on Wednesday night. He had half as many hits in the series as the Twins, whose streak of six straight series won came to a crashing end while being outscored 14-1 and outhit 35-14 by the Yankees.

“I didn’t kind of recognize much of what I was watching over the last three days,” manager Rocco Baldelli said.

After Ryan Jeffers hit a leadoff homer on Tuesday night, the Yankees threw 378 pitches and recorded 81 outs without allowing a run.

“It’s been fun to watch, fun to see them go out there and work and do their thing,” Judge said.

Even the outs were hit hard by Judge, whose long fly to center went 409 feet to the warning track ending the fifth. The ball would have been a home run in 18 of 30 ballparks, according to MLB Statcast.

“You can go from being the best team in baseball for two weeks,” Twins shortstop Carlos Correa said, “and then you can absolutely suck for three days. You’ve just got to go out there and find a way to move on.”

The outfield defense was also shaky all week for the Twins (24-19). Alex Kirilloff misplayed a line drive by Torres in the first that glanced off his glove at the warning track as Judge came around to score.

Twins starter Joe Ryan (2-3) lasted 5 1/3 innings with four runs allowed on six hits and one walk while striking out five.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Yankees: 3B D.J. LeMahieu will resume his rehab assignment with Double-A Somerset on Friday. The three-time All-Star has been sidelined all season after and breaking his right foot on a foul ball in spring training on March 16. His first rehab assignment was halted by soreness after one inning on April 23.

Twins: CF Byron Buxton was slated to play again for Triple-A St. Paul on Thursday, likely the final step before he returns from the right knee inflammation that has kept him out of the last 13 games.

UP NEXT

Yankees: LHP Nestor Cortes (1-4, 4.02 ERA) pitches against Chicago on Friday night to begin a three-game series. RHP Mike Clevinger (0-1, 5.40 ERA) starts for the White Sox.

Twins: RHP Simeon Woods Richardson (1-0, 3.24 ERA) takes the mound in Cleveland on Friday night to start a three-game series. RHP Triston McKenzie (2-3, 3.54 ERA) pitches for the Guardians.

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AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/MLB

By DAVE CAMPBELL
AP Sports Writer

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