Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Tigers beat Yankees 5-4

DETROIT —All Justin Verlander could do was watch. The Detroit ace was finally out of the game after a tireless, 120-pitch effort, and closer Jose Valverde was in trouble again. Two on, two out and Derek Jeter batting. “I’m just like 45,000 other people in the stadium at that point. I’m just sitting there,” Verlander said. “Obviously, your heart is... racing a bit.” Jeter swung and missed, striking out to end New York’s final rally. The Yankees are now on the brink of elimination after Monday night’s 5-4 loss to the Tigers. Verlander struck out 11 in eight gritty innings to help his team take a 2-1 lead in the best-of-five series.

Detroit added another run off Sabathia in the sixth. Jhonny Peralta followed Don Kelly's bunt single with a double to left that appeared to bounce off a pole in the fence, caroming strangely to the left while the runner came around to score. After walking Jorge Posada with two outs in the seventh, Verlander stood behind the mound briefly to gather himself. It didn't work -- he then hit Russell Martin in the ribs with one of his triple-digit fastballs, putting runners on first and second. Gardner lined a 3-2 pitch from Verlander to left-center. By the time Jackson raced over to retrieve the ball and unleashed a mediocre throw back to the infield, both runners were on their way home for a 4-all tie. But that was it for the Yankees, and now their season rests in the hands of Burnett. "I feel good about what A.J. is going to do for us tomorrow," Girardi said.

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