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Twins swept out of playoffs by Yankees

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MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- Alex Rodriguez and Jorge Posada hit seventh-inning home runs and the New York Yankees advanced to their first American League Championship Series in five years with a 4-1 victory and sweep of the Minnesota Twins in the final baseball game at the Metrodome.

This classic postseason pitching duel between former teammates Andy Pettitte and Carl Pavano ended with another first-round playoff victory at the Metrodome for the Yankees, who also eliminated the Twins here in 2003 and 2004.

The Twins self-destructed with a baserunning blunder. Nick Punto wasted a leadoff double in the eighth by failing to see that Denard Span's single didn't leave the infield, and he was thrown out trying to retreat to third base, wasting a chance for the Twins to tie it.

Pettitte allowed one run on three hits through six and a-third innings for his 15th career postseason win. That ties John Smoltz for the most postseason victories. Pettitte and three relievers combined on the seven-hitter, with Mariano Rivera recording the four-out save.

The Yanks got a couple insurance runs in the ninth. Rodriguez, who's had some notable flops in the postseason, is hot. A-Rod went 5 for 11 with two homers and six RBIs in these three games.

The Yanks will now host Game 1 of the American League Championship Series Friday night against the L.A. Angels, who rallied with three in the ninth to beat Boston 7-6 to finish a three-game sweep.

Online reporter Mark Woodley

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