By Ben Fractenberg
MANHATTAN — Lance Berkman may start hearing more cheers than boos at Yankee Stadium.
Berkman homered and hit the go ahead RBI double in the fifth inning to lead the Yankees to a 5-2 win over the Minnesota Twins in Game 2 of the Americal League Division Series on Thursday.
"Big Lance also stepped up for us today. We all knew it was going to happen,” Yankees outfielder Nick Swisher told the Associated Press.
Berkman's performance was a pleasant surprise for the Bronx Bombers Thursday night. The 34-year-old Berkman hit just .255 with one home run in 37 games with the Yankees during the regular season.
"That's why I wanted to come over here: a chance to play in these games," Berkman, who was traded to New York from Houston in July, told the Daily News. "They were going to make the postseason with or without me, so I just want to contribute and maybe help us win a few games here in October."
The Yankees, who have a 2-0 lead in the ALDS, were also given a lift by the pitching of veteran Andy Pettitte. The 38-year-old lefty gave up just two runs and five hits in seven innings to earn his record-tying 19th postseason victory.
The loss was the the 11th straight in the postseason for Minnesota. The Twins hope to end there losing streak on Saturday night as rookie southpaw Brian Duensing takes the mound for them in Yankee Stadium.
Righty Phil Hughes will take the mound in Game 3 for the Bronx Bombers as they go for a series sweep.