NEW YORK (AP) -- Hideki Matsui left his first three at-bats behind him, wasn't worried about delivering with Alex Rodriguez out of the lineup and wasn't bothered by the funky motion of Twins reliever Pat Neshek.

The reserved slugger was focused on the moment.

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Matsui hit a tiebreaking two-run homer off Neshek in the eighth inning to lift the New York Yankees to a 7-6 victory over Minnesota on Thursday.

"He's so professional that even when he's not swinging well it's easy to be convinced that he's going to do it, because you trust him so much," manager Joe Torre said.

Matsui, who batted cleanup with Rodriguez resting his strained left hamstring, came up with runners on in his first three plate appearances and was retired each time. He lined a single into right in the sixth before coming through in the ninth.

"I let the results go," Matsui said through a translator. "There's something learned from those at-bats but as far as the results, I'm going to leave it as that and move forward."

Robinson Cano and Melky Cabrera also homered for New York, which played without Rodriguez for the first time this season. Torre said an MRI exam on Rodriguez's hamstring came back normal.

Mariano Rivera finished for his 11th save in 13 opportunities.

It also was save No. 424 for Rivera, tying him with John Franco for third on the career list.