October 02, 2011
Score and situation:The New York Yankees beat the Detroit Tigers 9-3 in Game 1 of the ALDS Saturday night at Yankee Stadium. The Yankees lead the series 1-0.
Leading lad: Robinson Cano(notes) practically beat the Tigers single-handedly. His double off the top of the left-field wall broke a 1-1 tie in the fifth inning. He came back in the sixth for the knockout punch: a grand slam off Al Alburquerque(notes) to give the Yankees an 8-1 lead. Ballgame.
Head hanger: When Jim Leyland brought in Alburquerque to face Cano with the bases loaded, he was looking for a strikeout. Alburquerque averaged 13.9 strikeouts per nine innings this year. But he hung a slider and Cano launched it out. Alburquerque didn't allow a home run in 43 1/3 regular season innings. It's doubtful anyone will remember that now.
[Video: Cano gives Yankees big boost]
Key play: The Tigers could've had the bases loaded with one out in the fifth after a Jhonny Peralta(notes) single to center. But third base coach Gene Lamont waved Alex Avila(notes) in from second base and he was thrown out at home on a relay throw from Derek Jeter(notes). Wilson Betemit(notes) followed up with a fly ball that could've scored a run, but instead ended the inning.
Interesting stat: With two sweeps of the Minnesota Twins over the last two postseasons and Saturday's win against the Tigers, the Yankees have won seven straight playoff games against the AL Central champions.
What they'll be talking about: Freddy Garcia(notes) starts Game 2 for the Yankees, and his 18-8 record and 3.88 ERA against the Tigers will surely be mentioned. But is Garcia the same pitcher he was from 2004-06, when he got 11 of those wins?
[Video: Tigers' challenges for Game 2]
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