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Hours between saves, Mo in top shape

Hours between saves, Mo in top shape

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MINNEAPOLIS -- The Yankees don't often call on Mariano Rivera twice in one day, but the 40-year-old closer left Target Field on Wednesday feeling like he pitched better in his second save opportunity.

Rivera was brought in for the final three outs of the Yankees' 3-2 victory over the Twins, just a few hours after he'd locked down the ninth inning in New York's 1-0 triumph -- the resumption of Tuesday's rain-suspended game.

"There's no time to rest," Rivera said. "I think rest -- I have enough. I'm just going to take the opportunities and help the team as much as I can."

Yankees manager Joe Girardi said that he checked with Rivera in the seventh inning of the night game to gauge the right-hander's availability after he threw 14 pitches in the first game.

"I don't think I threw that many pitches in the first game," Rivera said. "I was ready for the second game."

Nick Swisher's go-ahead home run in the ninth inning gave New York it's 3-2 lead, and then the rush was on to get Rivera ready. Girardi sent out Andy Pettitte to slowly warm up for the ninth inning, never intending to let the left-hander throw a pitch.

When home-plate umpire Brian O'Nora pushed Pettitte along to cease the stalling tactic, catcher Francisco Cervelli briefly stopped to rub something out of his eye, eating up even more time.

"You know that you've got to get him ready, and you know you've got to go through the heart of their lineup still," Girardi said.

Rivera got the job done, retiring Justin Morneau, Michael Cuddyer and Delmon Young on groundouts for his 10th save. It was a cleaner chance than the afternoon game, when J.J. Hardy seemed to get all of a cutter, only to see Target Field help it die in left fielder Kevin Russo's glove.

"He hit it good," Rivera said of Hardy. "It's great to pitch in a field like that. It's give and take, because other balls will fall in front -- more doubles, more triples. That's the way it is."

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