Tigers 4, Yankees 2

Preview | Box Score | Recap

DETROIT (AP)—Jeff Weaver started Saturday in a fight to stay in the New York Yankees’ rotation.

He certainly didn’t get any help from his old friends on the Detroit Tigers.

Dmitri Young homered into the center-field shrubs, then hit a tiebreaking single off Weaver in the seventh inning to lead the Tigers to a 4-2 victory.

“When you win against an old teammate, no matter what team he is on, it feels good,” said Young, who went 3-for-4 with two RBIs. “We weren’t just teammates. We hung out and had built up a friendship.”

Weaver (3-4) faced the Tigers for the first time since going from Detroit to the Yankees in a three-way trade last July. He allowed three runs on 10 hits and a walk in seven innings, striking out two. He also hit two batters.

“It is frustrating to have a losing record on this team—it just isn’t clicking right now,” he said. “I feel bad that the team doesn’t play well when I’m out there.”

Earlier this week, Yankees owner George Steinbrenner called for Jose Contreras to replace Weaver in the rotation, and that idea gained momentum when the Cuban rookie pitched seven shutout innings against the Tigers on Friday night.

Yankees manager Joe Torre, though, said a decision won’t come until at least Sunday because of the uncertainty over David Wells’ injured calf.

“Jeff was OK today, but we know he is capable of pitching better than that,” Torre said. “Once we know about Boomer’s leg, we’ll figure out what to do. It might be tomorrow, but definitely by Tuesday.”

The loss was New York’s second in its last 11 games against the Tigers and ended its three-game winning streak.

Adam Bernero (1-6) ended his team-record 17-start winless streak, allowing two runs on three hits and a walk in seven innings. He matched a career high with seven strikeouts in his first win since beating Montreal on June 10, 2002.

“I wanted to beat them real bad today,” he said. “It seemed like there were more Yankee fans out there than anything. That got me fired up.”

Franklyn German pitched the ninth for his third save, but made things interesting with two walks and two wild pitches.

“He’s trying to get me older, grayer and balder already at this age,” first-year Tigers manager Alan Trammell said. “Today he showed some signs of being erratic, but he made big pitches when he needed them.”

The score was tied going into the bottom of the seventh. Ramon Santiago led off with a double over the head of Hideki Matsui in center and took third on a groundout.

Torre chose not to walk Young, Detroit’s top hitter, and he lined an RBI single up the middle. Young has 25 RBIs in 29 games in May.

“Walking him was one of my options, but I decided not to do it,” Torre said. “I thought Jeff was capable of getting him out, and the guy behind him (Kevin Witt) was a capable hitter. Just the wrong decision, as it turned out.”

Detroit added an insurance run in the eighth on an RBI single by Santiago.

The game was scoreless until Detroit scored a run in the fourth. Eric Munson singled off Weaver’s hand, took second on a sacrifice bunt and scored on Gene Kingsale’s two-out single to center. The Tigers loaded the bases on a single and hit batsman, but Bobby Higginson flied out to end the inning.

Bernero didn’t allow a hit through 4 1-3 innings, but Raul Mondesi broke it up with a home run over the fence in left field. One out later, Todd Zeile walked and scored on Derek Jeter’s triple to deep center.

Young, though, led off the bottom of the inning with a 427-foot homer into the shrubs beyond the center-field fence. It was just the 12th homer over the center-field fence since Comerica Park opened—but Young’s second of the week. He hit one Wednesday afternoon against Cleveland.

In the sixth, Jason Giambi hit a ball nearly as far as Young, but AlexSanchez made a running catch before hitting the center-field fence.


Matt Walbeck’s second-inning single broke an 0-for-17 streak. He had not gotten a hit since May 6. He added a second single in the eighth inning. … Walbeck and Young were the only players in Detroit’s lineup that had ever faced Weaver before Saturday. … The game was played on a chilly 58-degree afternoon, and drew 24,959 fans. Rain fell until about an hour before game time. … The Tigers left eight runners on base in the first four innings. … Visiting players have hit eight of the 14 homers over the shorter fence in left, including seven of the last eight. … Munson had his first careerthree-hit game.

Related Articles