Ron Gardenhire wasn't placing too much stock in the Yankees' recent skid. Even though New York had lost five straight and six of its past seven entering Monday's game, the Twins' manager maintained that "they are the Yankees."
They showed it on Monday. After allowing three runs in the first inning and falling behind by a run in the sixth inning, the Yankees stormed back to score seven runs in the final two innings to defeat Minnesota, 10-4.
"They've got some guys that have been around the league a bit from other ballclubs that they've kind of put together. They've been battling pretty good," Gardenhire said. "They're always tough. They know how to play. They come and they prepare very well so we have to play really good."
The Twins will hope to get that good performance their manager is looking for on Tuesday with Samuel Deduno on the mound. The young right-hander has pitched well of late, allowing two earned runs or less in five of his past six starts.
Gardenhire credits Deduno's recent success to his ability to limit walks. After handing out 10 free passes in his first four starts this season, Deduno has walked just four batters over his past three.
"I think commanding his fastball better," Gardenhire said. "We all know he can throw the breaking ball, and that's what he'd always go to when he'd get behind because he couldn't always get his fastball."
The Yankees will counter with Phil Hughes, who is coming off one of his best starts of the season. The right-hander threw eight innings of two-run ball against the Rangers on Thursday, taking a tough-luck loss as the Yankees' failed to scratch across any runs in support.
There has been speculation that Hughes could lose his spot in the rotation with Ivan Nova pitching well and Michael Pineda working his way through a rehab assignment, but manager Joe Girardi said on Monday that he hope Hughes "gets on a roll here." He has been inconsistent this season -- he's allowed four or more runs in six of his 15 starts this season -- but his ability to shut down a dangerous Texas offense dispelled some concerns.
Hughes is 2-1 with a 3.33 ERA in four career starts against the Twins.
"Every time I take the ball, I just clear my head and go out there and do the best job I possibly can," Hughes said on Thursday. "I really don't let talk and things like that creep into my head, so I guess it takes some experience and going through it to handle that stuff better. It's really not an issue."
Yankees: Cano scorching on road trip
• Robinson Cano has been a nightmare to opposing pitchers on the Yankees' current road trip. The second baseman is 10-for-17 at the plate through four games of the team's seven-game trip, with three home runs and five RBIs.
The surge ends the slugger's recent cold streak at the plate. Cano had been batting just .229 in the 12 games entering the Yankees' series against the Orioles over the weekend.
"You know that eventually he's going to get hot again, that's the bottom line," Girardi said. "He swung the bat very well in Baltimore."
Twins: Slump continues for Mauer
• Twins catcher Joe Mauer has been battling mild soreness and flu-like symptoms over the past few days, and it's shown at the plate. The .320 hitter was in the midst of an 0-for-15 stretch over his past four games, and Gardenhire gave him a day off on Monday.
Mauer extended his hitless streak in the eighth inning, pinch-hitting for third baseman Jamie Carroll and striking out swinging with a runner on second base and one out in a two-run game.
"I'm all right," Mauer said. "I'm just a little beat up and under the weather. I came in ready to go, but today was just a good day to take a breather here. I don't know if it's allergies or what going around the clubhouse but it's found its way to me, too."
Josh Vitale is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.