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(Friday, August 9th)
Final Score: New York 4, Detroit 3 (10 innings)
Bronx, NY (Sports Network) - Alex Rodriguez fizzled in his return home. Mariano Rivera stumbled for a second consecutive game.
Still, the New York Yankees managed to put an end to the Detroit Tigers' 12- game win streak.
Brett Gardner's third hit of the night, a single with two out in the bottom of the 10th inning, lifted the Yankees to a wild 4-3 decision that prevented the Tigers from achieving their longest victorious stretch since a 14-game tear in 1934.
"I hope this jump starts us a lot," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "We need to win series. We need to win a lot of games moving forward."
Detroit didn't go down easy in its first loss since July 25, however, as Miguel Cabrera belted a dramatic two-run homer off Rivera with his team down to its last strike to send the game into extra innings. It was the legendary closer's second blown save in as many chances.
"When you don't have a lead in the ninth you don't want to face Mariano, he's one of the best closers in the game. We want to have the lead in the ninth and have a chance to win. You don't want to have to take any chances," said Cabrera.
Cabrera, who had an RBI single earlier in the contest, spoiled a strong outing from New York starter Ivan Nova, who scattered eight hits while holding Detroit's potent lineup to one run and collecting seven strikeouts over seven innings.
Rodriguez went 0-for-4 with three strikeouts in his first Yankee Stadium appearance since last October's AL Championship Series matchup with Detroit, but Robinson Cano delivered a key two-run double for New York and Ichiro Suzuki added three hits to help the Yankees halt a four-game skid that included three defeats to AL Central cellar-dweller Chicago to conclude a rough road trip.
Austin Jackson finished 4-for-6 with two runs scored for Detroit, while Al Albuquerque (2-3) was dealt the loss after allowing the deciding run in the 10th.
Two days after failing to protect a one-run lead in the ninth in an eventual 6-5, 12-inning defeat to the White Sox, Rivera entered with the Tigers down 3-1 in their final at-bat. A double from Jackson sent the tying run to the plate with one out, but the longtime Yankee closer set down Torii Hunter on a grounder back to the mound to leave Cabrera as the last chance.
The reigning AL Triple Crown winner was in a 1-2 hole after fouling a cutter off his left knee, but shook off the pain and fought off another pitch that landed just past the outstretched glove of New York first baseman Lyle Overbay and into the seats for another foul ball.
After taking Rivera's following offering for a ball, Cabrera hammered the next pitch into the monuments behind center field to suddenly knot the score at 3-3.
It remained that way until the bottom of the 10th, which began when Albuquerque walked Jayson Nix and gave up a single to Curtis Granderson. Both advanced on a wild pitch as Overbay struck out, and Albuquerque also fanned Chris Stewart after intentionally walking Eduardo Nunez to load the bases.
Gardner came through, however, sending a single through the left side of the infield for only the Yankees' second hit in 15 at-bats with runners in scoring position.
The hit made a winner out of Shawn Kelley (4-1), who got the final out of the top of the 10th with two runners aboard.
Nova held Detroit's potent lineup squarely in check as New York held a 3-0 lead after six innings, but the Tigers finally broke through in the seventh when Jackson lashed his second double of the night to open the frame and Cabrera brought him in from third with a single to left two batters afterward.
The Yankees later missed out on a chance to extend the margin in the eighth, loading the bases with one out on a pair of walks and a throwing error by Detroit reliever Bruce Rondon, who redeemed himself by inducing a double-play grounder off the bat of Stewart.
Nova pitched his way out of trouble early on, as Jackson and Hunter began the game with consecutive singles and Prince Fielder drew a one-out walk to fill the sacks. The right-hander was able to avert damage, however, by fanning Victor Martinez and Andy Dirks in succession.
The Yankees also put the first two on in their half of the first, but were able to cash in when consecutive groundouts from Cano and Alfonso Soriano pushed home Gardner, who worked a leadoff walk against Detroit starter Rick Porcello and took second on a Suzuki single.
Rodriguez then stepped up to a mixed reception and struck out swinging on four pitches.
Cano came up with a big hit in the third to stretch the margin to 3-0, delivering a screaming liner over Jackson's head in center for a double that followed singles from Gardner and Suzuki.
Porcello lasted five innings and was reached for three runs while striking out six.
The start of the game was delayed 45 minutes by rain ... Detroit pitcher Max Scherzer was ejected by home plate umpire Will Little for arguing a called third strike on Hunter in the seventh ... Catcher Alex Avila and infielder Ramon Santiago were each held out of the Tigers' lineup after leaving Thursday's win at Cleveland with injuries. Avila was tested for a possible concussion after taking a foul ball off his mask, while Santiago has a sore left knee ... Nova now has posted a 1.60 ERA in six starts since rejoining the Yankee rotation in early July ... Porcello's effort snapped a string of 12 straight quality starts by Detroit hurlers ... New York reliever David Robertson extended his scoreless innings streak to 20 1/3 after working a 1-2-3 top of the eighth.
08/10 02:59:39 ET