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MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Andy Pettitte missed two months with a groin injury this summer and was still trying to find his strength and his form in late September.
Lance Berkman hit only one homer for the New York Yankees after coming over in a deadline-day trade during the worst season of his powerful career.
This is October, though, when the Yankees usually bring out their best.
Pettitte and Berkman, friends from their time together in Houston, helped push the defending World Series champs within a game of eliminating the frustrated Minnesota Twins.
Pettitte turned in a vintage performance with seven smooth innings and Berkman had two big hits in the Yankees' 5-2 victory over their favorite postseason punching bag on Thursday night, taking a 2-0 lead in the best-of-five division series.
"Three words for you: Texas two-step," Yankees right fielder Nick Swisher said. "No doubt. Andy Pettite and Lance Berkman were huge reasons for our success. Pettite has been doing it his entire career. Big Lance also stepped up for us today. We all knew it was going to happen."
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