Jun 10, 2021; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Twins designated hitter Nelson Cruz (23) celebrates after hitting a two run walk off home run in the ninth inning against the New York Yankees at Target Field. Mandatory Credit: Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

New York Yankees closer Aroldis Chapman had blown saves before. It’s happened 35 times in his career and even once this season, 2 1/2 weeks ago.

He’s never collapsed like he did Thursday night against the Minnesota Twins.

Protecting a two-run lead in the ninth inning, Chapman surrendered a pair of two-run home runs in a matter of nine pitches, handing the Twins an unlikely 7-5 victory at Target Field.

Josh Donaldson tied the score and, one batter after Willians Astudillo reached on a single, Nelson Cruz sent the Yankees packing after they were on the verge of a series sweep.

Here’s Donaldson's tying home run:

Chapman’s heater reached only 97.8 mph. Here’s Cruz's walk-off blast:

For all of the 100-mph heat Chapman can bring, he hasn’t allowed home runs the length of Donaldson’s and Cruz’s.

And Chapman’s numbers coming in were close to perfect.

Only one home run allowed — to Andrew Vaughn of the Chicago White Sox on May 23, in Chapman’s other blown save. The Yankees came back to win that game.

There would be no coming back against the Twins, for once, after the Yankees dominated them in the first two games of the series and seemingly forever before that.

Cruz, while not lacking confidence, wasn’t expecting a ninth inning like that.

Chapman said his velocity “wasn’t there” but he didn’t feel any different than usual.

The Twins came in having lost 25 of 33 in the regular season against the Yankees, and seven straight if you include their playoff series in 2020. At 25-37 overall, Minnesota’s season might be lost before the All-Star break, but if the Twins can get hot and make up ground on the first-place White Sox, they might yet have something to say about the 2021 season. And if they do, they can point to overcoming Chapman and the Yankees in June.

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