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Yankees 3, Tigers 4: Yankees fall to Tigers in extras

The Yankees let this one slip through their fingers...

Jim McIsaac

After a big win against Max Scherzer and the AL Central leading Detroit Tigers, the Yankees sent Hiroki Kuroda - last remaining member of the opening day rotation - to face David Price.  This marked Price's first start as a member of the Detroit Tigers after Tampa Bay moved him at the trade deadline as part of a three-team deal, and the Yankees were certainly looking to give him an ugly start to his Tiger career.

Detroit didn't waste any time getting on the board, tagging Kuroda for a run in the top of the first.  Rajai Davis hit a leadoff single and, after an Ian Kinsler pop out, Davis moved to third on a Miguel Cabrera single up the middle.  Davis then tagged up and scored as the next batter, Victor Martinez, lifted a fly ball towards Brett Gardner in left.  While Kuroda managed to limit the damage after that, the Tigers had struck first and had a 1-0 lead.

The Yankees tied the game up in the second on a Brian McCann homer, and they would take the lead in the bottom of the third.  Brendan Ryan led off the inning with a double, ripping the first pitch he saw from David Price into left and just missing a home run by a few feet.  Gardner moved Ryan to third with a sacrifice bunt, but Derek Jeter followed that up with a weak grounder to second that failed to score Ryan.  However, Jacoby Ellsbury was not about to let the leadoff double go to waste - he slapped an 0-2 fastball hard down the third base line for an RBI double, giving the Yankees a one run lead.

Kuroda settled down after the first, at one point retiring twelve batters in a row.  The score would stay 2-1 until the bottom of the fifth, when new Yankee Martin Prado hit New York's second homer of the night off David Price to make it 3-1.  The Tigers cut the lead to one in the top of the sixth with an Andrew Romine solo shot to the short porch in right, and then, in the seventh, the Tigers tied up the score.  After singles by Martinez and Nick Castellanos, Alex Avila smacked a two out liner to right, scoring Martinez and knotting the score at three apiece.

The game would remain tied through nine full innings and head to extras, as the Yankees failed to get to David Price and - after Kuroda exited following the sixth - Dellin Betances and Shawn Kelley flummoxed the Tigers hitters.  Still, with Price going almost nine full innings, this left the Tigers bullpen in a lot better shape than the Yankees, who used two of their best relievers just to get the game into extra innings.

The first reliever the Tigers brought in was ex-Yankee Joba Chamberlain, who pitched relatively well except for the fact that he hit Derek Jeter, which only served to get him more boos from the Bronx crowd.  The bullpens battled back and forth for a few innings, with the Yankees getting some good performances from David Huff and Esmil Rogers.  Unfortunately, as the game stretched on, the Yankees quickly found themselves tossing out worse and worse pitchers, while the Tigers had Joakim Soria and Joe Nathan waiting in the wings.  This eventually cost New York, as mediocre Matt Daley gave up a solo shot to Avila in the top of the twelfth to give the Tigers a one run lead.

Still, the Yankees almost tied the game back up in the bottom of the inning.  Nathan came in to shut the door, but Chase Headley had other ideas.  Leading off the inning, Headley pulled a breaking ball towards right-center and it looked like it might get out, but J.D. Martinez brought it in on the warning track, breaking Headley's - and our - hearts, as he was just a couple feet from tying the game in dramatic fashion.  Nathan then took care of Prado and Stephen Drew easily, and that was that, a 4-3 loss for the Yankees.

The Yankees had a great chance to sneak out a win here, as they were up 3-1 on Price in sixth.  Kuroda wasn't quite good enough to get the win, but he isn't completely to blame, as the Yankees offense just vanished after the sixth inning.  Tomorrow, the Yankees will face their third Cy Young winner in three days (are you tired of hearing about all their Cy Young winners?), as Justin Verlander will take on Chris Capuano.