NEW YORK -- Brett Gardner's two-out home run in the ninth inning lifted the New York Yankees to a 5-4 victory over the Detroit Tigers on Sunday afternoon.
The Yankees overcame Mariano Rivera blowing a third straight save for the first time in his career when Gardner drove a 1-0 pitch from Jose Veras into the right field seats for his second straight walk-off hit and first career walk-off home run.
Gardner's dramatic home run gave the Yankees their first series win since July 5-7 against the Baltimore Orioles and gave Rivera the win.
Rivera blew the save by allowing solo home runs to Miguel Cabrera and Victor Martinez after David Robertson allowed a solo home run to Brayan Pena in the eighth.
Gardner's hit was New York's third home run of the day.
Alex Rodriguez and Alfonso Soriano hit solo home runs against Detroit starter Justin Verlander.
After getting Saturday off, Rodriguez had a busy day at the plate and in the field. He went 2-for-4, fielded five chances, including an inning-ending double play in the first and was charged with a fielding error in the third.
He was mostly booed when he walked to the plate and when he introduced before the game but two pitches into his first at-bat, Rodriguez turned the reaction to cheers with a towering drive to the front rows of the left field seats.
Rodriguez's first home run since Sept. 14 was the 647th of his career and also moved him past Stan Musial into sole possession of fifth place on the all-time list.
Rodriguez also added another RBI with a run-scoring single on a full count against a 98 mph fastball from Verlander. He initially thought the ball was foul before realizing it was a hit but it still gave Robinson Cano time to score from second.
Soriano also reached a milestone, becoming the 274th player to reach 2,000 hits. Soriano, who was traded for Rodriguez nine years ago, made it 4-1 when he opened the fourth by sending Verlander's first pitch slider into the left field seats.
Andy Pettitte did labored through 4 1/3 innings and allowed one run on eight hits.
Verlander allowed four runs and seven hits in seven innings while having an issue with plate umpire Paul Emmel's strike zone during an at-bat to Gardner with the bases loaded in the sixth. Verlander thought he got strike three and yelled something before Emmel had to be restrained from yelling further by catcher Brayan Pena. After getting the strikeout, Verlander continued yelling at Emmel before manager Jim Leyland interceded.
NOTES: The Yankees recalled RHP Dellin Betances from Class AAA Scranton/Wilkes-Barre to give them an extra arm out of the bullpen. Betances was with the team in mid-May but did not make an appearance. ... To make room for him, IF David Adams was optioned back to Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. ... Detroit C Alex Avila was a late scratch from the lineup. Avila was evaluated for a concussion Thursday after taking a foul ball off the mask in Cleveland. He played Saturday and was 1-for-5 with three strikeouts. ... Robertson allowed an earned run for the first time in 22 appearances since June 19 against the Los Angeles Dodgers. ... Leyland also argued with second base umpire Will Little on a force play at second involving Jose Iglesias. Replays showed that Iglesias' foot beat the throw from Rodriguez.