Jim Leyland wasn't alive the last time the Detroit Tigers won 13 games in a row.
The Tigers, who have won 12 in a row to go seven games up in the AL Central, haven't won more than 12 consecutive games since 1934, when they won their 14th straight at Yankee Stadium to tie a franchise record. Leyland, 68, was still 10 years away from being born.
Now, the Tigers (68-45) are back at Yankee Stadium, looking to come closer to that elusive mark.
"When we're able to execute as a team, we can do great things," pitcher Max Scherzer said. "That's why we think we're one of the best teams in the American League."
The Yankees (57-56) have been anything but, and getting Rodriguez back for the first time since Detroit swept New York in the 2012 ALCS didn't help much. Rodriguez had a hit apiece in each of his first three games of 2013, playing under the cloud of his 211-game suspension for violations of MLB's drug agreement and labor contract, but the Yankees were swept in Chicago against a White Sox team that came in with a 10-game losing streak.
Rodriguez went 1 for 5 on Wednesday as New York blew leads in the ninth and 12th innings of a 6-5 loss. He was roundly booed in every plate appearance at U.S. Cellular Field, and now awaits what should be an interesting reception at home.
"I am curious what it's going to be like Friday," manager Joe Girardi told the team's official website. "I'm not sure. And I don't really know what the appropriate response is. I don't think it's my right to tell people how to respond to certain situations."
When asked how he'd like the fans in the Bronx to react, Rodriguez gave a diplomatic answer."Same way you would like them (to)," Rodriguez said. "Again, I'm just super excited to come home, put on the pinstripes and play for the greatest fans in baseball."
He might not like what he sees from Detroit's pitching staff. The Tigers' starters have posted 12 straight quality starts and a 1.48 ERA during the winning streak.
The Tigers have fared particularly well with Rick Porcello (8-6, 4.28 ERA) on the mound, winning his last five starts as he's posted a 1.87 ERA. The right-hander held the White Sox to a solo homer and seven other hits over 7 2-3 innings in Detroit's 3-2 win Sunday.
Porcello hasn't started in the Bronx since August 2010, but he's 2-1 with a 3.51 ERA in four starts - including a Game 4 loss in the 2011 AL division series - since. Rodriguez is 2 for 9 lifetime in their matchups.
Detroit has hit double digits four times during its streak after scoring 10 or more four times in its previous 57 games, and it's continued its knack for coming up with hits in key situations. After batting .243 with runners in scoring position in June, the Tigers are hitting .322 in such situations since the beginning of July - the AL's best mark by 49 percentage points.
The Yankees, on the other hand, hit .138 (8 for 58) with runners in scoring position on their just-completed road trip.
Perhaps the four-game sweep in Cleveland also got Prince Fielder going. Fielder had four hits - including three doubles - in the series' final two games after hitting just .162 over the first 10 games of Detroit's win streak.
The man with the most RBIs during the streak, however, almost certainly won't be available for this series. Catcher Alex Avila , who had three homers, three doubles and 12 RBIs in his past 10 games, was set to return to Detroit to be treated for possible concussion-like symptoms after Thursday's win.
Avila took a foul tip from behind the plate and was bleeding from the ear.
Nova (5-4, 3.08) has posted a 1.66 ERA in five starts, all at least seven innings, since rejoining New York's rotation in early July. That carried into Saturday, when he allowed four hits in seven scoreless innings of a 3-0 victory at San Diego.
As poorly as things have been going for the Yankees offensively, he may not be too thrilled to see pinstripes. The right-hander is 0-3 with a 9.87 ERA, including the postseason, in four career starts versus New York.
The Yankees lost two of three in Detroit in early April, but snapped a six-game series skid with a 7-0 win in the finale.
|July 31, 2013||Miguel Cabrera||Day-to-Day||Strained lower abdomen|
|July 31, 2013||Luis Marte||15-Day DL||Recovery from right shoulder surgery|
|July 25, 2013||Torii Hunter||Day-to-Day||Left game - sore left Achilles|
|July 23, 2013||Miguel Cabrera||Day-to-Day||Strained left hip flexor|
|July 14, 2013||Justin Verlander||Day-to-Day||Left game - Right quadriceps tightness|
|July 07, 2013||Darin Downs||15-Day DL||Left rotator cuff tendinitis|
|New York Yankees|
|August 03, 2013||Derek Jeter||15-Day DL||Strained right calf|
|August 03, 2013||Derek Jeter||Day-to-Day||Calf|
|July 27, 2013||Travis Hafner||15-Day DL||Strained right rotator cuff|
|July 23, 2013||Luis Cruz||15-Day DL||Sprained right knee|
|July 20, 2013||Zoilo Almonte||15-Day DL||Sprained left ankle|
|July 19, 2013||Zoilo Almonte||Day-to-Day||Left game - left ankle sprain|
NEW YORK (AP) -- Another blown save by Mariano Rivera . A bunch of boos for Alex Rodriguez . A bevy of runners left on base.
All that, and still a win for the New York Yankees .
Rodriguez got jeered in his return home and the Yankees overcame Miguel Cabrera 's crushing home run off Rivera, beating Detroit 4-3 in 10 innings Friday night and snapping the Tigers' 12-game winning streak.
"Well, I hope it jump-starts it a lot," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "We need to win series. We need to win a lot of games moving forward."
Cabrera temporarily saved the Tigers by hitting a two-out, two-run homer in the ninth off Rivera that made it 3-all. Cabrera connected while still hobbling after fouling two balls off his left shin earlier in the at-bat.
The reigning Triple Crown winner vs. the all-time saves leader made for great baseball theater, not that it was a setting Cabrera enjoyed.
"No, we want to have the lead in the ninth. You don't want to face Mariano," he said.
Cabrera's shin was bandaged after the game and he limped through the locker room. Banged up lately, Cabrera said he hoped to play Saturday afternoon.
Brett Gardner grounded an RBI single with the bases loaded and two outs in the 10th to end New York's four-game losing streak.
The AL Central-leading Tigers were trying for their best string since 1934, when they tied the team record of 14 straight wins. That run ended across the street at the old Yankee Stadium when Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig each drove in runs to down Detroit.
Gardner singled just past Cabrera's dive at third base. Al Alburquerque (2-3) took the loss and Shawn Kelley (4-1) got the win.
Austin Jackson got three doubles and four hits overall for Detroit. His one-out double began Detroit's comeback in the ninth.
With some scattered fans wearing No. 13 jerseys, Rodriguez finished 0 for 4 in his first game at Yankee Stadium since last October. The sellout crowd of 46,545 let him have it the whole night, from the moment the lineups were announced to the time he looked at a slider for his third strikeout of the game.
Rodriguez left the ballpark without talking to the media.
"Alex has had to deal with stuff before. He's been booed before. He knows what he has to do and I expect him to do it," Girardi said.
"It's something he has to be able to put out of his mind and just be a player for us," he said.
A-Rod made his season debut Monday in Chicago against the White Sox, hours after Major League Baseball handed him a 211-game drug suspension. The three-time AL MVP can play until there is a decision on his appeal, likely after the season.
Jayson Nix replaced Rodriguez in the top of the ninth. Nix walked to start the 10th and scored the winning run.
Cabrera delivered a most dramatic hit an inning earlier.
After a foul ball left him hopping, Cabrera got a checkup from manager Jim Leyland. Fact is, Cabrera almost didn't make it that far - moments before that, first baseman Lyle Overbay reached over a railing and barely missed catching Cabrera's foul pop that would've ended the game.
But Cabrera regrouped and lined a 2-2 pitch well over the wall in dead center field, slowly making his way around the bases and silencing the crowd. He drove in Detroit's first three runs, and now has 34 homers and 108 RBIs.
For Rivera, it was his second straight failure - the first time that happened since April 2011. Rivera has blown four in 39 chances this year, including a ninth-inning miss Wednesday night in Chicago.
"Cabrera put a tough at-bat on him. Fouled a bunch of pitches off. Fouled it off his knee. Fouled it off his foot. He did a good job of getting two strikes. He just couldn't put him away," Girardi said.
Gardner finished with three hits, and was glad to pick up Rivera.
"I said it two or three days ago in Chicago, and I'll say it again tonight: He probably won't do it again the rest of the season," Gardner said. "He'll probably reel off 15 or 20 straight from here to the end of September."
Yankees starter Ivan Nova allowed one run in seven innings. He wiggled out of a jam in the first, striking out Victor Martinez and Andy Dirks to leave the bases loaded.
Nova cruised until Jackson led off the seventh with a double. Torii Hunter was then called out on strikes and objected to the call by Triple-A fill-in umpire Will Little.
After Cabrera followed with an RBI single, Little ejected Tigers pitcher Max Scherzer for hollering from the dugout.
Alfonso Soriano had an RBI grounder in the first and Robinson Cano lined a two-run double in the third off Rick Porcello that put the Yankees ahead 3-0.
NOTES: There was a 47-minute rain delay at the start. ... Tigers RHP Anibal Sanchez (9-7, 2.58) starts Saturday against RHP Phil Hughes (4-10, 4.87). ... The Yankees wore their batting practice hats with the white bills. They did it to honor their partnership with the David C. Koch Foundation, New Era caps and the fight against cancer.