NEW YORK — Phil Hughes pitched seven shutout innings, Marcus Thames hit a two-run homer and the New York Yankees beat the Minnesota Twins 6-1 Saturday night to complete a three-game sweep and return to the AL championship series.

Robinson Cano tripled off Brian Duensing in the second inning and scored on Jorge Posada’s single, Mark Teixeira added an RBI single in the third and Thames and Nick Swisher homered later.

The AL Central champion Twins lost their 12th straight postseason game dating to 2004, one shy of the record set by the Boston Red Sox from 1986-95.

The World Series champion Yankees, a wild-card team this year, outscored the Twins 17-7 in the series and open the ALCS on Friday at Texas or Tampa Bay.