The Tigers came from behind again in the late innings, but it wasn’t enough as Brett Gardner hit a walk off home run to give the New York Yankees a 5-4 win over Detroit at Yankee Stadium on Sunday afternoon. Detroit hit three home runs in the last two innings to erase a 4-1 deficit but the Tigers dropped the series and are now 5-2 on the road trip.
The Yankees got on the board in the second inning on an Alex Rodriguez home run. It was his first home run of the season since coming off the disabled list. Leading 2-1 in the third inning, Rodriguez again brought home a run, this time on a cue shot base hit down the first base line. Alfonso Soriano added the Yankees’ fourth run on a fourth inning solo home run.
The Tigers had chances in the game. They scored in the first inning on a Prince Fielder RBI single. Their next big chance came in the fifth inning when they loaded up the bases with one out. Detroit was able to get starter Andy Pettite out of the game in the fifth inning. Although allowing only one run, he left with the bases loaded and had a pitch count over 100. Reliever Shawn Kelley came in and got the final two outs and left the Tigers out of a quality scoring chance.
In the eighth inning the Tigers struck again, as this time it was Brayan Pena hitting a home run to cut the lead to 4-2. That led to the ninth inning against Mariano Rivera, and Miguel Cabrera started the inning in a way only he can, by hitting a home run. It was his third home run of the series and the second against Rivera. Two batters later, it was Victor Martinez’s turn as he hit a towering home run to right field to tie the game. It was the third blown save in a row for Rivera with two coming against the Tigers. It also marked the third time on the road trip that the Tigers have come from behind in the ninth inning. They have hit five home runs in the eighth inning or later in the through the current seven game road trip.
That wasn’t enough though as also for the second time in the series the Yankees prevailed in a walk off win. This time it was in the bottom of the ninth inning and Brett Gardner did the honors as the hit a home run to right field off Jose Veres.
Justin Verlander made the start for Detroit. He surrendered four runs over seven innings. He allowed seven hits and struck out nine. Phil Coke followed him out of the bull pen and pitched a scorless eighth inning before giving way to Veres in the ninth. The home run given up by Veres was the first run he has given up since being traded to Detroit.
The Tigers are now 5-2 on the road trip and will head to Chicago to wrap up the trip with three against the White Sox. That series gets started Monday night at 8:10. Doug Fister will take the mound against Chicago’s Chris Sale.