Alex Rodriguez and Jorge Posada each homered twice, Robinson Cano hit his first major league homer and Gary Sheffield also connected to help the Yankees rout the Tigers 12-3 Tuesday to move three games above .500 for the first time this season.
Mike Mussina allowed six hits over seven shutout innings, winning his fourth straight decision in a span of five starts, and New York finished with a season-high six home runs—four off starter Wilfredo Ledezma—to win for the 13th time in 15 games.
“It’s good to see us come out after the off day and keep the momentum going,” Mussina said. “The last two years I got off to a little bit of a slow start and I’ve been able to figure things out five or six starts into the season. We’re playing more like we thought we would, more like we think we’re capable of.”
Rodriguez, who leads the major leagues with 16 homers and 46 RBIs, was plunked near the hip by Franklyn German in the seventh, a pitch that appeared to be intentional. A-Rod jogged to first without a problem, but was removed from the game just as several other Yankees regulars already had been.
Paul Quantrill retaliated in the eighth, throwing behind Jason Smith and then hitting him with a pitch in the back. That brought the Tigers out of their dugout, and Quantrill egged them on, gesturing for them to come out for a fight.
The Taiwanese rookie got his first career win on May 10, limiting the Mariners to three runs and four hits over 7 1-3 innings in a 7-4 victory. In his last start, Wang allowed three runs and six hits over 6 1-3 innings, striking out four and walking none in a 6-3 win at Seattle on May 17. He retired 17 straight batters after Raul Ibanez’s two-run double in the first.
“Keep the ball down. Throw to the outside corners and the inside corners,” Wang said when asked to outline his strategy.
The Tigers will counter with left-hander Mike Maroth, who will be looking to bounce back after getting roughed up the Tampa Bay Devil Rays last Thursday. Maroth gave up six runs and nine hits, including two homers, in six innings of Detroit’s 6-2 loss.
“I felt fine,” he said. “I just didn’t have the same stuff I normally do. I would say my stuff was below average. I just tried to make it through each inning and battle.”