MINNEAPOLIS, Oct. 7 (UPI) -- Lance Berkman drove in the go-ahead run in a controversial at-bat Thursday and the New York took control of its playoff series with a 5-2 win over Minnesota.
The Yankees built a 2-0 lead in the best-of-five American League Division Series, which will resume in New York Saturday. The defending-champion Yankees handed the Twins their 11th consecutive playoff loss, eight of them coming at the hands of New York.
Minnesota lost a lead for the second straight day and did so in such a frustrating manner that Manager Ron Gardenhire wound up being ejected from the contest.
With the score tied at 2-2 in the New York seventh, Jorge Posada drew a one-out walk off losing pitcher Carl Pavano. That brought up Berkman, who worked the count to 2-2 and took a pitch that television replay technology showed was in the strike zone.
The pitch, however, was called a ball by umpire Hunter Wendelstedt. Instead of being out on strikes, Berkman stayed alive and hit the next pitch to the centerfield wall. That brought home Posada with the go-ahead run and Berkman scored later in the inning on a Derek Jeter single.
Gardenhire, who was ejected by Wendelstedt for arguing the lack of a strike call in the crucial situation, became the second manager to be kicked out of a playoff game Thursday. Tampa Bay's Joe Maddon was ejected during his team's loss to Texas.
Berkman hit a solo homer in the fifth to put New York in front 2-1, but Orlando Hudson tied it in the sixth with a solo blast of his own.
Andy Pettitte, who was a question mark in the New York rotation after having pitched just three times since the middle of July, improved to 19-9 in a playoff career that includes 41 starts. Pettitte allowed two runs on five hits over seven innings. Mariano Rivera earned his 41st post-season save.