NEW YORK -- The Minnesota Twins have not had many flawless days. Sunday was close to being perfect, especially for Tyler Duffey.
Duffey retired the first 17 hitters and took a shutout into the eighth inning as the Minnesota Twins hit three of their season-high six home runs in the sixth inning during a 7-1 victory over the New York Yankees.
Brian Dozier, Trevor Plouffe and Max Kepler homered in a span of 10 pitches off Nathan Eovaldi with two outs in the sixth. Danny Santana started the barrage in the third off Eovaldi while Eduardo Nunez and Juan Centeno added late home runs as the Twins hit six home runs for the first time since July 6, 2007, in Chicago against the White Sox and for the 12th time in franchise history.
"To see six home runs, have a well pitched game, keep the manager out of it -- that's the best way to win," Minnesota manager Paul Molitor said.
Duffey helped limit Molitor's decision-making by getting eight groundouts, five outs in the air and four strikeouts while he flirted with perfection for the first time in his 22 career starts. The bid for history ended when former Twin Aaron Hicks lined a 1-0 pitch to right field for a double.
"The only perfect game I ever saw was here and unfortunately I was in it, on the wrong side of it," Molitor said. "It's a long shot. We all know that but you just hope your guy keeps his focus pitch to pitch."
Duffey quickly regrouped after Hicks doubled by getting the next four outs before Mark Teixeira ended the shutout with a home run in the eighth. Duffey finished the longest outing of his career by getting strikeouts of Starlin Castro, Didi Gregorius and Chase Headley.
Duffey allowed two hits or fewer for the second time in his brief career. The other was six one-hit innings Aug. 15 against Cleveland when he had a no-hit bid ended by Francisco Lindor.
"Throwing the ball over the plate does wonders," Duffey said. "I was able to spot my fastball well and everything worked off of that today."
He also became the first visiting pitcher to throw at least eight innings with two hits or fewer in New York since Tampa Bay's Chris Archer on July 27, 2013. Duffey also joined Chris Sale and Steven Wright as the third pitcher to last at least eight innings while yielded one run or fewer in New York this season.
"I know it. I got the scoreboard in front of me, I tried to keep calling good pitches," said Centeno, who added he told Duffey to go for the complete game after the Hicks double.
After the double, Duffey playfully tapped his former teammate with the glove while heading to the dugout. Before Hicks doubled, Duffey had defensive help from shortstop Eduardo Escboar, who ranged to his left to make a throw on the run for the final out of the first, and Santana, who ran in and made a diving catch in center field for the final out of the fourth.
Those were the closest times the Yankees had anything close to a hit until Hicks doubled.
"He had it going today," New York catcher Brian McCann said. "You get 30 starts a year. You're going to have a handful of starts where you can put the ball where you want, and today he had that."
Duffey had a five-run lead before the perfect game bid ended as his teammates homered on four different pitches against Eovaldi.
Santana drove a 1-2 fastball into the right-field seats with one out in the third with one out. In the sixth, Dozier drove a 1-0 splitter over the left-field fence for a 3-0 lead, Plouffe drove a full-count slider into the left-field seats and Kepler sent a 1-0 curveball into the right-field seats.
It marked the first time since Aug. 3, 2014, the Twins hit three straight home runs. The last time occurred against the White Sox in Chicago by Chris Parmelee, Oswaldo Arcia and Eric Fryer.
Being unable to hit Duffey, who had a 9.10 ERA in his previous six outings, dropped the Yankees (37-37) back to the .500 mark for the sixth time since May 24.
"We hit some balls hard but we weren't able to ever to string any hits together off him and he looked dominant." Yankees manager Joe Girardi said.
Eovaldi became the third Yankee since 1988 to allow three straight home runs, joining a dubious list that includes Chase Wright (2007) and Randy Johnson (2005). According to STATS Inc, he and Doyle Alexander are the only pitchers to allow three straight home runs in New York since 1914.
Eovaldi lost his third straight start as he allowed five runs and six hits in six innings. He became the second Yankee pitcher to allow four home runs this season.
NOTES: Minnesota manager Paul Molitor said the report on OF/3B Miguel Sano's (hamstring) rehab games with Triple-A Rochester are that he is moving well but his timing at the plate remains off. Sano will play at least three more games there through Wednesday before the team makes another evaluation. ... The Yankees swapped relievers in their bullpen, recalling RHP Luis Cessa from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes Barre and optioning RHP Nick Goody there. ... Asked about New York manager Joe Girardi saying LHPs Aroldis Chapman and Andrew Miller were unlikely to pitch in a fourth straight game, Molitor said: "I'll believe it when I see it." ... Yankees RHP Bryan Mitchell (left toe) has begun playing catch. Girardi said he does not anticipate Mitchell pitching for the Yankees this season.