NEW YORK (WKZO) – Six runs in the first two innings was enough cushion for the Tiger’s bullpen Saturday. Detroit held off a late New York rally to snap a 5-game losing streak, 7-5.
Drew Smyly dominated in his first major league win, fanning seven and allowing only a single run in six innings of work. His only blunder was a first inning homerun off the bat of Nick Swisher. The Tiger’s bullpen left much to be desired, giving up a combined four earned runs, including a pair of homers in three innings of work. Jose Valverde continued to struggle in his closing role, giving up three hits and three runs in the ninth, and ballooning his ERA to 5.59.
The Tiger bats had their way with Freddie Garcia from the start, knocking him out in the second inning with six earned runs. With two runners on in the first, Andy Dirks drove a 0-2 slider over the right field fence, giving Detroit a 3-0 lead. The lead expanded in the next frame on back to back RBI knocks from Brennan Boesch and Miguel Cabrera. Neither team would score again until the seventh inning. The Tiger’s final run came in the eighth off of Miguel Cabrera’s seventh homerun of the year.
Trailing 7-2 in the bottom of the ninth, New York refused to roll over. Nick Swisher got the comeback rolling on Jose Valverde with his sixth long ball of the year. Alex Rodriguez reached on a walk, and was driven in by Curtis Granderson on the next at bat. An RBI double from Raul Ibanez cut farther into the lead, leaving Eric Chavez to represent the tying run at the plate. He was put out on a fly ball to right field.
Detroit can take the series tomorrow afternoon in the final game in the Bronx. First pitch is set for 1:05 pm on AM 590 WKZO.