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A-Rod, Yankees rally past Tigers

The SportsXchange

By Dave Buscema

The Sports Xchange

NEW YORK -- As the New York Yankees came back from a late two-run deficit, Alex Rodriguez helped them rally.

In the ninth, he didn't have to do anything but wave his arms to make sure they didn't need another one in the Yankees' 7-6 win over the Detroit Tigers on Friday night.

Rodriguez, who had three hits and a home run, frantically waved Derek Jeter in from third after catcher Alex Avila couldn't handle a pitch from Detroit reliever Brayan Villarreal on what was ruled a passed ball.

Jeter, who had walked with one out and moved to third on a wild pitch when Curtis Granderson walked, slid in just ahead of the tag.

It gave the Yankees their first walk-off win of the season.

"It was fun," said Rodriguez, who hit his 288th homer as a Yankee to pass Bernie Williams for sixth place on the team's all-time list. "It was a nice win, a nice way to start the homestand with a good win, especially being behind twice in that game and able to come back against a top-notch pitcher like (Justin) Verlander. It's definitely a good sign."

Yankees manager Joe Girardi, who was ejected in the seventh inning for arguing from the bench, complimented Jeter's baserunning on a night the hot-hitting captain went hitless to drop his average to.400.

"He knows how to play the game, and he's known for a long, long time," Girardi said.

Detroit lost its fifth straight game, and also had to deal with an off-the-field incident involving left fielder Delmon Young, who was arrested Friday in New York and wasn't in the lineup.

Young, who was arrested early Friday morning after reportedly getting into a fight following his screaming of anti-Semitic epithets, was replaced in left field by Don Kelly, who made an error that led to a run in the sixth.

The Tigers did not comment on Young's arrest, other than a statement they released on behalf of him and his defense attorney, though a spokesman earlier Friday said general manager Dave Dombrowski might address it Friday night. After the game, the spokesman said the team still had issues to resolve and Dombrowski would not speak.

Asked after the game to comment on Young not being in the lineup, Tigers manager Jim Leyland erupted.

"Get lost, get lost, get lost," he said tersely. "Do yourself a favor and get lost."

Russell Martin also homered for the Yankees, who snapped a two-game losing streak.

Former Yankee Austin Jackson had four hits, two runs and two RBI for the Tigers.

The Yankees tied the game, 6-6, in the eighth with a pair of singles by Rodriguez and Robinson Cano and a sacrifice fly by Mark Teixeira off reliever Joaquin Benoit.

Three Yankees relievers held the Tigers scoreless in the last three innings. Mariano Rivera, who hadn't pitched since April 23, pitched a perfect ninth with the score tied to even his record at 1-1.

Tigers starter Verlander allowed five runs (four earned) on seven hits in six innings in a no-decision.

"He threw the ball well; a little tough with the weather to get a grip," Avila said of Verlander on a frigid night.

Trailing 6-4 in the bottom of the sixth, the Yankees closed within a run, thanks partially to Young's replacement in left. After Nick Swisher doubled with two outs, Raul Ibanez hit a liner that went off Kelly's glove, allowing Swisher to score to make it 6-5.

"Ball in the lights," Leyland said. "Kelly couldn't come up with it."

The Tigers chased Nova in the sixth, scoring two runs on Jackson's double, which followed a double by Jhonny Peralta and a single by Ryan Rayburn. Boone Logan gave up a RBI single to Prince Fielder, which resulted in the sixth and final run charged to Nova as Detroit took a 6-4 lead.

Nova tied his career-worst by allowing 11 hits, in 5 1/3 innings.

Martin gave the Yankees a 4-3 lead with a two-run homer to right-center in the fifth.

Rodriguez brought the Yankees within 3-2 in the bottom of the fourth inning with his solo homer to right field.

Kelly helped the Tigers score their first run in the second inning when they tied the game 1-1. Kelly walked and scored on a triple by DH Brad Eldred, who had been called up to replace Brandon Inge following Inge's release.

The run countered the Yankees' run in the first, when Rodriguez singled in Curtis Granderson, who had doubled.

Detroit added two more runs in the third off Nova, with four straight singles from the top of the lineup. Miguel Cabrera made it 2-1 with the 1,000th RBI of his career and Prince Fielder extended the lead to 3-1 with another RBI single.

Nova escaped further trouble by striking out Kelly and Eldred before getting Avila on a ground ball.

NOTES: The Yankees had a moment of silence before the game for former 1B Bill "Moose" Skowron, who died early Friday morning in Illinois from lung cancer at 81. "It's too bad," Derek Jeter said of Skowron, a Yankees fan favorite who played in the 1950s and '60s. "Moose is one of the guys you always look forward to seeing, whether it was here, Old-Timers' Day, in Chicago; he used to always come out when we played in Chicago. "I enjoyed getting to know him throughout the years." ... RHP Joba Chamberlain, who sustained a severe ankle dislocation in a trampoline accident while playing with his son during spring training, was at Yankee Stadium for the first time this season. Chamberlain, who was already rehabbing from Tommy John surgery, had lost some weight and said he was optimistic he could return this year. ... LHP Andy Pettitte is scheduled to throw about 95 pitches for Class AA Trenton (N.J.) on Monday in his next step toward returning to the majors, Girardi said. ... Tigers LHP Duane Below will start Monday in place of demoted LHP Adam Wilk, after throwing 12 scoreless innings in relief this year, Leyland said.
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