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(Monday, August 6th)
Final Score: Detroit 7, New York 2
Detroit, MI (Sports Network) - Prince Fielder and Miguel Cabrera provided the early thunder with solo homers and the Detroit Tigers broke it open with a parade of singles to back Justin Verlander's 14 strikeouts in a 7-2 victory over the New York Yankees to start a four-game set at Comerica Park.
Verlander (12-7) snapped a two-start skid and beat the Yankees for the first time in three tries this season. He didn't figure into the decision of a 7-6 setback on April 27 and took the loss in a 5-1 defeat on June 3, allowing a total of nine runs -- seven earned -- in 12 innings.
On Monday, the All-Star right-hander gave up eight hits and a pair of unearned runs -- thanks to his own error -- and tied a career high in strikeouts over eight innings. He issued one walk and threw 132 pitches.
"I was able to establish a good fastball and locate my changeup and breaking ball for strikes," said Verlander. "I was just trying to focus on making my pitches."
The Tigers supported him with 13 hits, including 11 singles, to win their ninth straight at home and fifth in a row overall. They were coming off a weekend sweep of Cleveland.
Ivan Nova (10-6) continued to struggle for New York. He gave up a career-high nine runs in five innings of a loss to Baltimore in his last outing and on Monday was tagged for seven runs on 11 hits in 5 1/3 innings. The right-hander is just 1-4 in his last nine starts.
"Every pitcher goes through it, you're going to go through struggles," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said about Nova. "You have to get through it."
Eric Chavez went 3-for-4 with a pair of doubles in defeat, while Derek Jeter and Robinson Cano each picked up a pair of hits and an RBI. The Yankees had won three of four entering the contest.
Fielder drilled a 1-1 pitch over the right field wall to give the Tigers a 1-0 lead in the second, and Nova left an 0-2 pitch up to Cabrera in the fourth and he smashed it well over the wall in center field to make it 2-0.
Verlander didn't face much trouble until the fifth, although he did strand runners on the corners in the third with a strikeout of Curtis Granderson and a bouncer back to the box from Jeter.
Chavez, who doubled to right to start the Yankee third, laced a double to left to open the fifth. Verlander then fanned both Ichiro Suzuki and Russell Martin, but could not handle a throw from Fielder on a ball hit by Granderson wide of first. The Yankees capitalized on the error with RBI singles from Jeter and Cano to plate a pair of runs to tie it.
The Tigers came right back against Nova with five straight singles to open the bottom of the inning. Delmon Young beat out an infield hit to start it, but was quickly erased trying to steal second. However, Alex Avila followed with a single, raced to third on a base hit by Jhonny Peralta and scored on a base hit to left by Omar Infante.
Austin Jackson then fisted a single to center and Peralta appeared to be an easy out trying to score from second, but Martin could not handle a bouncing throw from center field. The other runners also moved up a base and Andy Dirks lifted a sacrifice fly to right to make it 5-2 before Cabrera struck out to end the inning.
The Tigers were at it again in the sixth, as four straight singles produced two more runs. Brennan Boesch started it with one out, took second on a single to left by Young and scored on a bouncer into right field by Avila. Joba Chamberlain took over for Nova and surrendered another run-scoring hit to left by Peralta before retiring the next two batters to keep it 7-2.
"I'm leaving too many pitches in the middle (of the plate)," said Nova. "It was a tough day for me, but I have to turn the page and keep working. I still have my confidence. I know I can do better than this."
New York threatened in the seventh after a Martin reached on an error and Jeter singled off Verlander's leg. A Cano grounder moved up the runners, but Verlander struck out Mark Teixeira.
Verlander then ended his outing with his lone walk of the game and three straight strikeouts in the eighth. Jose Valverde finished up in the ninth.
"We swung the bats OK," Girardi added. "We got seven or eight hits against (Verlander). We just couldn't put them together."
Verlander previously struck out 14 in a June 25, 2011 game against Arizona. He improved to 5-4 lifetime in 13 starts against New York...The Yankees had won each of Verlander's previous five starts against them...Suzuki hadn't fanned in 48 plate appearances since joining the Yankees, but struck out three times on Monday. He also had his 12-game hitting streak stopped and failed to record a hit for the first time as a Yankee...Cabrera's homer was estimated at 454 feet. He has 14 homers and has hit safely in 34 of his 37 career games against the Yankees...The Yankees fell to 24-12 in series openers...Detroit last won nine straight at home from June 2-18, 2010...The last Tiger pitcher to strike out 14 Yankees was Jim Bunning on June 20, 1958...The Yankees were 3-for-14 with runners in scoring position and stranded nine...Chamberlain made his second appearance of the season after recovering from an ankle injury and allowed two hits in 1 2/3 innings.
08/06 22:46:02 ET