NEW YORK -- Brett Gardner singled with two outs in the bottom of the 10th inning as the New York Yankees overcame a second straight blown save by closer Mariano Rivera and ended the Detroit Tigers' 12-game winning streak with a 4-3 victory on Friday night in front of a sellout crowd at Yankee Stadium.
Gardner had three hits and his winning single off Al Alburquerque (2-3) to left field that scored Jayson Nix, helping the Yankees snap a four-game losing streak and stay above .500 (58-56).
The game marked the home debut for embattled third baseman Alex Rodriguez, who appeared in his fourth game since deciding to appeal his 211-game suspension for being involved with the Biogenesis clinic.
Rodriguez heard a mix of boos and cheers from the crowd and went 0-for-4 with three strikeouts that resulted in loud boos from portions of the 46,505 fans comprising the fourth sellout of the season.
Rodriguez was not in the game when the Yankees eventually won it after he was replaced defensively in the ninth by Nix.
Nix did not have a play in the field in the ninth when Rivera gave up a mammoth home run to Miguel Cabrera with two outs.
The Yankees were one strike from victory for the second straight game, but Cabrera drove a 2-2 fastball to straightaway center field for his 34th home run. After Prince Fielder doubled and Victor Martinez was intentionally walked, Rivera kept the score tied by retiring Andy Dirks.
The Yankees were poised to win it in the ninth, but Alfonso Soriano struck out against Jose Veras, stranding Robinson Cano.
An inning later, they pulled off the drama against Alburquerque (2-3) and it started when Nix walked and took second on a base hit by Curtis Granderson. After a brief mound meeting, Albuquerque faced Lyle Overbay as only Joaquin Benoit remained in the Detroit bullpen.
Alburquerque struck out Overbay as the runners advanced on a wild pitch. After intentionally walking Eduardo Nunez, he struck out Chris Stewart setting the stage for Gardner.
Shawn Kelley (4-1) picked up the win after retiring Torii Hunter for the final out of the 10th with two on.
Ivan Nova pitched through trouble in the first five innings. He left the bases loaded in the first by getting consecutive strikeouts of Martinez and Dirks.
Nova also avoided facing Cabrera and Fielder with men on base by getting Torii Hunter to make the final out of the second and fourth innings. Hunter grounded out to end the second and then flied out to the warning track in center field in the fourth.
The Yankees took a 1-0 lead on a run-scoring groundout by Soriano, but the rally stalled when Rodriguez struck out swinging on a fastball by Rick Porcello.
New York increased its lead to 3-0 on Cano's two-run double to left-center field that just went over center fielder's Austin Jackson. Cano took third on the throw home but was stranded there as Porcello fanned Soriano and Rodriguez before Granderson grounded out.
Rodriguez came up with runners at first and third and two outs in the fifth but flied out to right field.
NOTES: Yankees manager Joe Girardi discussed some of the things he has seen from Rodriguez's first three games back. He said the third baseman had an explosive swing and he was pleased with how the lower half of his body looked. In his first batting practice at Yankee Stadium before fans were let in, Rodriguez hit three home runs. ... The Tigers had both Cs Alex Avilla and Bryan Pena listed on their original lineup card. Avilla flew to Detroit after taking a foul tip on the head Thursday in Cleveland. He was re-evaluated for a concussion in Detroit and flew to New York on his own after getting cleared. ... Detroit manager Jim Leyland said that IF Omar Infante tweaked his left ankle at some point during his minor league game for Class AAA Toledo. Leyland did not sound concerned about it and hinted that he might return Monday in Chicago after continuing his rehab. ... Yankees SS Derek Jeter did some throwing for the first time since landing on the DL with a calf injury Monday.