The New York Yankees won a grueling, three hour and fifty-six minute makeup game against the Detroit Tigers, beating them 13-9.
Sidney Ponson started for the Yankees, his first start in the month of September since 2004. It was not a good outing, as he went only three innings, gave up seven runs on nine hits, walked one and struck out one.
The 2006 American League Rookie of the Year Justin Verlander started for Detroit. He did not last long in this one, as he tossed 64 pitches in only 1.2 innings. He was touched up for eight runs on seven hits. Verlander walked two and struck out two.
The Yankees jumped on Verlander in the top of the first inning. With the bases loaded, Alex Rodriguez hit a two-run single to score Johnny Damon and Derek Jeter. Jason Giambi followed and hit a sacrifice fly to score Bobby Abreu, and Hideki Matsui hit a single to score Rodriguez, giving the Yankees a quick 4-0 lead.
In the bottom of the first, the Tigers got on the board. After a leadoff double from Curtis Granderson, Magglio Ordonez knocked him in with a double of his own, and the Tigers cut the lead to 4-1.
In the top of the second, the Yankees took a commanding lead. Johnny Damon led off and crushed a solo homer to left field, his 12th home run of the year, to give the Yanks a 5-1 edge.
Later in the frame with runners on second and third, Rodriguez hit a ball to Jeff Larish at third base. Larish could not handle the ball, made an error, and Jeter scored from third giving the Yankees a 6-1 lead.
The Yankees tacked on two more runs in the second. Xavier Nady hit an RBI single to score Abreu, Matsui knocked in Rodriguez with a single, and the Yankees took an 8-1 lead.
The Tigers got a run back in the bottom of the second with a solo home run from former Yankee Gary Sheffield, his 14th homer of the year, rendering the score 8-2.
The Yankees tacked on three more runs in the top of the third, getting an RBI single from Abreu to score former Tiger Ivan Rodriguez, an RBI single from Alex Rodriguez to score Damon, a sacrifice fly from Nady to score Jeter, and the Yankees went up 11-2.
In the bottom of the fourth, the Tigers batted around and got back in the game. Brandon Inge slugged a two-run homer, his 11th long ball of the season, and Detroit trailed 11-4.
Later in the inning, Placido Polanco knocked in Ramon Santiago with the help of an error from Robinson Cano that chased Ponson from the ballgame.
It should be noted that Ponson seemed to injure his pitching hand attempting to field a ground ball right before his departure. Manager Joe Girardi stated that he will pitch in his next start. Ponson also said after the game his hand was fine.
With Edwar Ramirez on in relief, Ordonez hit a sacrifice fly to score Granderson, Miguel Cabrera smacked a two-run homer, his 30th of the season, and the Tigers cut the lead 11-8.
The Tigers continued to chip away at the Yankee lead in the bottom of the fifth. Ordonez hit an RBI single to score Granderson yet again, and the Tigers pulled within two runs, 11-9.
The Yankees got a pair of runs back in the top of the sixth. With the bases chucked, Jeter knocked in Cano and Ivan Rodriguez, giving the Yankees a 13-9 edge.
From here on out, the bullpens tightened up, the offense finally cooled down, and the Yankees went on to take the makeup game.
Brian Bruney gets the win and moves up to 2-0 on the year.
Verlander got the loss, and his record now stands at 10-15.
"We battled, it didn't look pretty, but our bullpen deserves a lot of credit," said Jeter.
The Yankees pounded out 17 hits today, and scored 13 times. The Yankees scored 13 runs in their last four games combined.
The hit parade was marching today, as total of ten players in this game had multi-hit games.
"We got a big, two out RBI from Derek, and that hit took us from two to four," said Girardi about Jeter's hit in the sixth. "We won this game, it's huge for us, and now we go to Tampa. To get the road trip off on the right foot is good."
In September call up news, reliever Phil Coke made his major league debut for the Yankees today. The first batter he faced was Granderson in the seventh inning, and Coke struck him out. Chad Moeller also made it back to the Yankees, and was called up from Triple-A.
"I'm extremely excited, I can't even express in words how I feel," said Coke after his debut. "When they told me I was going, I couldn't believe it."
On another note, Joba Chamberlain and Dan Giese will be called up tomorrow, and will rejoin the team as members of the active roster.
The Yankees will now head from Detroit to Tampa Bay to open up a series against the first place Rays.
Tomorrow night at 7:10 ET, Mike Mussina (16-7, 3.41 ERA) will gun for his 17th win against Matt Garza (11-7, 3.53 ERA).