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Yankees vs. Tigers Game preview: Bombers look to end road trip on high note

The Yankees have already guaranteed a road trip of at least .500 in three tough places to play. Can they top off their business vacation with a getaway day (and series) win over the AL-best Tigers?

Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

You know the way people talk about that snow game in April of 1996 against Kansas City? The home opener against a (horrifically 90's) Kansas City team in which the Yankees won 7-3 that YES shows entirely too often? Isn't it nice to think, or at least imagine, that maybe one day 19 years from now people will look back on last night's win the same way?

Okay, yeah, probably a stretch. But to accomplish what the Yankees (8-7) did last night in scoring six runs in the first inning, and eight in two and a third against a former Cy Young winner in David Price, is no easy task. Now, through 15 games, the New York offense has scored 83 runs, (third most in the league) which is a highly impressive 5.53 runs per game (only the Blue Jays average higher). Today, the Yankees have a chance to cap off a road trip that has, at least for the time being, has restored faith in its ability to hang with the league's best.

After taking two out of three in Tampa over the weekend and taking two of the first three against the Tigers (11-4), it is on the right arm (elbow, specifically) of Masahiro Tanaka to turn a good trip away from the Bronx into a great one. Tanaka had his best start of the season last time out against the Rays on Saturday, striking out eight hitters in seven innings of scoreless, two-hit ball. The right-hander has improved in each appearance this year, but it is a stretch to say that the uneasiness that surrounds the long-term health of Tanaka has disappeared. This is his first ever start against Detroit. It's also the first time since his Opening Day start that he will pitch on normal rest.

On the other side, Anibal Sanchez makes his fourth start of the year for the Tigers, who are now tied for the best record in the AL with Kansas City . Sanchez, who led the junior circuit in ERA two years ago, has gotten off to a less than inspiring to his 2015. In his first three starts, Sanchez is 1-2 with a 7.71 ERA that has looked even worse. In his last 9.2 IP, Sanchez has yielded 14 earned runs, including giving up five home runs, which is a league-high for any pitcher. In his last start, he didn't make it out of the fourth against the White Sox, giving up nine earned runs in 3.1 IP and took the loss. This will be his fourth start versus New York, and he has pitched to a 5.17 ERA in the first three appearances.

If the Yankees can find a way to complete their second three-game winning streak on this road trip and head home 9-7 after taking three out of four from a team that was looking to be the best in the sport, that could potentially be a huge stepping stone for this team. When they left Baltimore at 3-6, many were concerned about what could happen with a poor showing in Tampa and Detroit. The Yankees have since shown the ability that was hoped to still be present in the bats of players with so many All-Star appearances in their past. Should the Yankees continue their hot streak, it sets up a very intriguing weekend in the Bronx versus the Mets.

First pitch today is set for 1:08 pm EST and can be found on YES.

Today's Lineups

Jacoby Ellsbury - CF Anthony Gose - CF
Brett Gardner - LF Ian Kinsler - 2B
Carlos Beltran - DH Miguel Cabrera - 1B
Brian McCann - C Victor Martinez - DH
Chase Headley - 3B J.D. Martinez - RF
Chris Young - RF Yoenis Cespedes - LF
Garrett Jones - 1B Alex Avila - C
Stephen Drew - 2B Nick Castellanos - 3B
Didi Gregorius - SS Hernan Perez - SS
Masahiro Tanaka - RHP Anibal Sanchez - RHP