NEW YORK -- Prior to Saturday's game against the Yankees, manager Ron Gardenhire said he planned to get Glen Perkins into the game, somehow. The Twins' closer hadn't made an appearance in any of the team's previous six games, and Gardenhire knew he had to have him pitch. He was just hoping it would be in a save situation.
That's exactly what he got. Minnesota spotted Perkins a three-run lead in the ninth inning and the left-hander shut the door, securing a 4-1 win over the Yankees and ending the Twins' six-game losing streak.
"Good win for us today, exciting baseball game," Gardenhire said. "That was needed. It's been a tough go here, so to get a win and see the guys smile again is very exciting."
The Twins only put one runner in scoring position during the game -- designated hitter Joe Mauer doubled but didn't come around to score in the fourth inning -- but they didn't need any more than that against Yankees starter Phil Hughes.
Third baseman Trevor Plouffe and catcher Ryan Doumit hit solo home runs in the second and seventh innings, respectively, and shortstop Pedro Florimon added a two-run blast in the eighth to seal Minnesota's second win in July.
The game-winning hit belonged to Doumit, who turned on a slider from Hughes and flicked it just over the wall in right field.
"That's a single at Target Field. It might be an L9," Doumit said, laughing. "This is a great place to hit."
Hughes only allowed five hits over 7 1/3 innings and recorded a season-high 10 strikeouts -- marking the first time in franchise history the Twins have struck out at least 10 times in four consecutive games -- but the three home runs cost him the game.
"You look at the one Doumit hit, in a lot of ballparks that's not a home run, but we've taken advantage of that, too, many times," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "So it's part of the game here. The other two were hit pretty good, but [Hughes is] going to give up some home runs."
Hughes earned the win when the Yankees beat the Twins, 7-3, in Minnesota on July 2, but the guy who took the loss in that game, Samuel Deduno, got the better of him Saturday. The Twins' starter threw six shutout innings after giving up a run in the first inning, finishing his day with six hits allowed over seven innings while striking out three and walking three.
"Fastball, changeup, slider, curveball," Deduno said. "Everything was around the plate and everything was working today."
The only run Deduno allowed came in the first inning, when right fielder Ichiro Suzuki doubled and second baseman Robinson Cano -- who is batting .428 with three home runs and 11 RBIs in six games against the Twins this season -- drove him in with a single.
Deduno shut down Cano and the rest of the Yankees' offense after that inning, though. He worked himself into jams in the fourth, fifth and seventh innings, but he worked out of them all unscathed.
"With his stuff," Gardenhire said, "he's the guy you want out there. His ball moves all over the place, he gets good breaking balls and he was in control pretty much the whole game."
Gardenhire was ejected in the eighth inning for arguing after left fielder Clete Thomas was called for interference while trying to beat out a ground ball to the pitcher, but his bullpen stayed sharp without him on the bench as Casey Fien and Perkins combined to allow two hits over scoreless eighth and ninth innings.
For a Twins team that had lost 12 of its past 13 games entering Saturday's contest, it was a much-needed victory.
"It's a big sigh of relief. It's a big weight off your shoulders. When you're struggling like this, everybody tries that much harder. It seems like every missed opportunity hurts that much more," Doumit said. "We got one, we got another win. Hopefully we can get another one tomorrow going into the break so we have a little bit of momentum."
Josh Vitale is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.