Seeking their longest home winning streak in more than 60 years, the Detroit Tigers have a big obstacle standing in their way.
Detroit (60-50) pulled within one-half game of AL Central-leading Chicago with Tuesday's 6-5 victory over the Yankees. The Tigers matched a season high with a sixth straight win overall, and improved to 13-6 since July 18."We're doing exactly what we want to do," catcher Alex Avila said.
It's safe to assume New York isn't.
The Yankees (63-46) have lost 12 of 18, causing their lead over second-place Baltimore to shrink to 4 1/2 games - the first time it's been less than five since June 29.
The Tigers are closing in the White Sox thanks to a 16-1 record in the Motor City since July 4. They've outscored opponents 68-28 during their 10-game winning streak there, and are trying to win 11 straight in Detroit for the first time since August 1949.
Cabrera, who homered in his third straight game Tuesday while also driving in three runs, has been instrumental to the home winning streak, batting .385 with six home runs and 13 RBIs."Nothing Miggy does surprises me anymore," Avila said. "I'll only be surprised if he's not the MVP. He's unbelievable."
Cabrera is crushing Yankees pitching this season, hitting .355 with five homers and 11 RBIs in eight games, but is 1 for 7 lifetime against Sabathia (11-3, 3.53 ERA), who pitched a three-hitter and struck out 10 in Friday's 6-3 win over Seattle.
"You always want a game like this, just to go out and throw the ball well and have everything working," the left-hander told the Yankees' official website. "It felt good, and hopefully I can just keep it going."
Sabathia, who hasn't lost since June 7 against Tampa Bay, has won both of his outings against Detroit this year. In his last start versus the Tigers on June 1, the six-time All-Star allowed three runs over seven innings of a 9-4 victory to snap a four-start losing streak at Comerica Park in which he had a 7.56 ERA.
Prince Fielder , who went 0 for 4 Tuesday after batting .588 with three home runs in his previous five games, is 2 for 5 with a homer this year against Sabathia, his former teammate in Milwaukee.
The Yankees made things interesting Tuesday, scoring twice off Detroit closer Jose Valverde in the ninth inning and having runners at second and third before Curtis Granderson popped up to end the game.
Granderson, New York's leader with 29 homers, finished 0 for 5 for the second straight game, and is batting .119 with 18 strikeouts in his last 10. The three-time All-Star center fielder, like a number of his teammates, will get his first look at Anibal Sanchez (1-1, 4.50) on Wednesday.
This will be Sanchez's first outing against the Yankees since his major league debut June 25, 2006, when he allowed seven hits over 5 2-3 innings of a 5-0 win for Florida.
Acquired from the Marlins two weeks ago, Sanchez had a rough debut with the Tigers on July 28, permitting five runs and eight hits - including three homers - in six innings of a 5-1 loss at Toronto. The right-hander looked a bit more comfortable against slumping Cleveland on Friday, allowing two runs - one earned - and scattering eight hits over six innings of a 10-2 victory.
|New York Yankees|
|July 25, 2012||Alex Rodriguez||15-Day DL||Non-displaced fracture in left hand|
|July 25, 2012||Nick Swisher||Day-to-Day||Strained left hip flexor|
|July 24, 2012||Alex Rodriguez||Day-to-Day||Left hand fracture|
|June 28, 2012||Andy Pettitte||60-Day DL||Fractured left ankle - out 6-8 weeks|
|June 27, 2012||Andy Pettitte||Day-to-Day||Fractured left ankle - out 6-8 weeks|
|June 25, 2012||CC Sabathia||15-Day DL||Left groin strain|
|August 01, 2012||Ryan Raburn||15-Day DL||Sprained right thumb|
|July 07, 2012||Drew Smyly||15-Day DL||Right intercostal strain|
|July 07, 2012||Drew Smyly||15-Day DL||Right intercostal strain|
|July 02, 2012||Max Scherzer||Day-to-Day||Left hamstring soreness|
|June 25, 2012||Alex Avila||Day-to-Day||Left knee tendinitis|
|June 19, 2012||Jose Valverde||Day-to-Day||Right wrist|
DETROIT (AP) -- Curtis Granderson snapped out of a short slump and insisted it had nothing to do with hitting sixth for the first time in nearly three months.
Granderson hit his 30th homer and drove in four runs to help the New York Yankees beat Detroit 12-8 Wednesday night and end the Tigers' winning streak at six.
He was pushed down after leading off and hitting second for much of the year because he had two straight 0-for-5 games, including a popup with runners on second and third to end a 6-5 loss to his former team Tuesday night.
Granderson had just four hits in his previous 25 at-bats and almost had that many in one night with an RBI single in the first, a homer in the third and a double in the seventh while matching his season high for RBIs.
"It's just very coincidental," he said. "I've been with this team for three seasons and I think I've batted every spot but cleanup. It really doesn't matter where I hit. I just want to win."
CC Sabathia does, too, but he'd rather have a chance to have more than the 94 pitches manager Joe Girardi let him throw against the Tigers.
"You're always upset when you're not able to finish your inning," Sabathia said. "But that's why Joe is the manager and I go out and throw the ball. It worked out."
It looked like it might not.
Down 7-0, the Tigers chased Sabathia and closed to 8-7 in the seventh inning only to hurt their comeback chances by giving up two runs in each of the last two innings.
"We just didn't pitch and all the add-on runs, obviously, killed us," Detroit manager Jim Leyland said.
Sabathia (12-3) gave up five runs - three earned - and eight hits while striking out seven over 6 2-3 innings for the AL East-leading Yankees, who had lost 12 of their previous 18 games.
Detroit had won 10 in a row at home, matching its best streak in 13 seasons at Comerica Park.
In his third start since being traded from Miami to Detroit, Anibal Sanchez (1-2) gave up seven runs, seven hits, walked two and hit two batters over three-plus innings.
"Everything didn't work," he said.
Omar Infante , who was also acquired with Sanchez from the Marlins, hit a solo homer in the eighth off David Robertson that pulled the Tigers within 10-8.
Eric Chavez and Granderson, batting sixth for the first time since May 15, hit RBI singles in the first for a 2-0 lead. Sanchez hit Robinson Cano and walked Chavez in the third before Granderson homered.
Girardi said before the game that he was sliding Granderson down in the lineup because he was struggling, but downplayed the move after the win.
"Sometimes you can make too much out of it," Girardi said. "You just keep running him out there and he's going to be productive."
Nick Swisher 's RBI single chased Sanchez in the fourth and Mark Teixeira 's sacrifice fly gave the Yankees a seven-run lead.
Jeff Baker , playing for the first time since the Tigers acquired him Sunday from the Chicago Cubs , hit a two-out double in the fourth and scored on Brennan Boesch 's single. Baker's two-run single in the sixth pulled Detroit within four runs.
"A pretty good debut with a new team," Leyland said. "Looks like he knows what the bat is for."
NOTES: Yankees 3B Alex Rodriguez , who went on the disabled list July 25 with a broken left hand, is scheduled to have an X-ray Monday in New York. ... The Tigers previously won 10 straight at Comerica Park in 2006 when they went on to play in the World Series for the first time since 1984. ... New York's 13-game errorless streak ended when Cano bobbled a grounder in the sixth, the second baseman's first miscue in the field since June 25. ... Detroit CF Austin Jackson , acquired from New York as part of the Granderson trade, extended his hitting streak to 11 games. ... Casey McGehee , playing in his third game since joining the Yankees, had his first hit with his new team. ... Derek Jeter scored two runs, giving him 1,832 in his career to move past Frank Robinson for 14th place on the all-time list.