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  • Game info: 3:07 pm EDT Sun Oct 2, 2011
  • TV: TNT
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The New York Yankees would like to avoid a repeat of 2006 against the Detroit Tigers. They should be able to do so if Robinson Cano(notes) can come up with a couple of repeat performances of Game 1.

Robinson Cano helped send the Yankees to a Game 1 win with a grand slam.
(Getty Images)

Cano looks to build on his record-tying effort at the plate and help the Yankees take a 2-0 lead over the Tigers in their AL division series Sunday.

New York won 9-3 on Saturday in the continuation of the opener, which was stopped due to rain after 1 1/2 innings a night earlier.

The Yankees have been in this situation before with the Tigers, taking Game 1 of their 2006 division series at home before losing the ensuing three games. Detroit went on to win the pennant that year.

Cano was 2 for 15 against the Tigers in ’06 but got this series off to a strong start, matching a franchise record with six RBIs while going 3 for 5 with a grand slam and two doubles. He’s the fourth Yankee to drive in six runs in a playoff game, joining Hideki Matsui(notes) (2009), Bernie Williams (1999) and Bobby Richardson (1960).

Cano thrived in the No. 3 spot in the lineup, as manager Joe Girardi moved the slugger up from fifth for the playoffs to get him more protection and pitches to hit.

“They put you third, so you want to do your job there. You don’t want to let your manager down,” he said. “I did my job today and hopefully I can continue doing it.”

Cano’s only hit in eight at-bats versus Max Scherzer(notes), Detroit’s scheduled starter in Game 2, was a home run.

New York gives the ball to Freddy Garcia(notes) (12-8, 3.62 ERA), who will make his first playoff start since beating Houston in 2005 to give the Chicago White Sox a World Series sweep.

The right-hander is 6-2 with a 3.11 ERA in nine career postseason games with Chicago and Seattle.

“I cannot live in the past, when I used to throw hard and whatever,” Garcia said. “I have to live with what I got right now, and go with my plans. If I do that, I can be successful. So that’s what I want to do, one pitch at a time, and do the best I can.”

Garcia has gone 5-0 with a 3.86 ERA in his last six starts at Yankee Stadium, yielding three or fewer runs each time. He lost his only start against Detroit this year, allowing four runs and striking out eight in seven innings of a 4-0 defeat May 4.

The Tigers are trying to avoid dwelling on opening the series with a defeat as they look to pull even before heading to Detroit for Game 3 on Monday.

“You can’t put too much in one game. Obviously, you want to jump out on top early, but it’s good to have short-term memory loss,” third baseman Brandon Inge(notes) said. “If you harp on one loss, if you go into a losing streak like you do in the middle of the season, you’re out, You’re done.

“So you have to put the losses, the bad games behind you really quickly.”

Scherzer (15-9, 4.43) will try to help Detroit do that by carrying his regular season success against the Yankees into his first playoff start.

The right-hander has won all three of his starts versus New York with a 2.84 ERA, although he was pounded in his most recent outing at Yankee Stadium on April 3. He surrendered six runs and a career-high four homers, but the Tigers bailed him out in a 10-7 victory.

Scherzer was vastly better in the following meeting, as he opposed Garcia on May 4 and yielded four hits with nine strikeouts in eight innings.

“I’m more focused on how I was executing pitches that day,” Scherzer said of the April 3 outing. “That’s 30-something starts ago. For me, I’m not really focused on too much of what happened in that start.

“It’s just baseball what happened that day, and I’m ready to go here in Game 2.”

While Scherzer emerged as a reliable member of the Tigers rotation this year by setting a career high in victories, he has gone 1-3 with a 5.18 ERA in his last six road starts. He failed to last past the fifth in four of those outings.

The team winning Game 2 has gone on to take each of the Yankees’ last eight postseason series, including the 2006 matchup with the Tigers.

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Starting Pitchers

M. Scherzer Det vs. F. García Atl
15-9 Record 12-8
4.43 ERA 3.62
174 K 96
56 BB 45
1.35 WHIP 1.34

Scoreboard