Yankees 2, Tigers 0, 1st game
Wang tied Toronto’s Roy Halladay for the major league lead with his 16th win, combining on a four-hitter and leading the Yankees over the Detroit Tigers 2-0 in the opener of Wednesday’s day-night doubleheader.
“He’s the one that’s pitching the best right now,” Yankees pitching coach Ron Guidry said.
With Yankee Stadium less than half full for the makeup of Tuesday night’s rainout, Wang (16-5) allowed three hits in 7 2-3 innings. Pitching on six days’ rest, he got 13 groundball outs, including five on comebackers.
“It’s like trying to hit a bowling ball,” Guidry said. “The sinker that he throws is so heavy and it moves so late, the guys just beat it in the ground.”
Wang, who received a standing ovation from fans when he came out, won for the eighth time in nine decisions.
“He’s doing all the big-game pitcher stuff,” Yankees manager Joe Torre said.
Wang likely has six starts left in the regular season and could get consideration for the AL Cy Young Award.
“I don’t think of that,” the soft-spoken native of Taiwan said.
Wang left after Curtis Granderson’s double gave the Tigers runners on second and third with two outs in the eighth. Scott Proctor relieved, and pinch-hitter Magglio Ordonez flied out to left on a first-pitch slider.
New York has won four of five this year against the Tigers (82-50), who lost for the eighth time in 11 games and fell behind the New York Mets (81-49) for the best record in the major leagues. Detroit started Wednesday five games ahead of second-place Chicago in the AL Central.
“That’s my man, Willie,” Torre said of Mets manager Willie Randolph, a former Yankees coach. “Every time you look, they’re beating somebody by four, five, six runs.”
Craig Wilson homered off Nate Robertson (11-11) and Jason Giambi added a sacrifice fly for New York, which returned from California on Sunday after playing 21 games in 20 days. The Yankees began the day with a season-high 7 1/2 -game lead over second-place Boston in the AL East.
“Craig Wilson is a nine-hole hitter? He was a four-hole hitter somewhere else,” Robertson said.
Alex Rodriguez, coming off a miserable trip, went 0-for-3 with a walk and has one hit in his last 20 at-bats. After center fielder Granderson caught up with his drive to deep right-center in the fifth, A-Rod bounced his helmet off the infield dirt just past first base.
Robertson, making his 100th major league start and 99th with Detroit, dropped to 1-5 in August. He gave up both runs in the fifth, and Wilson’s homer was the 25th he allowed this year.
“When you hold the Yankees to two runs, you’re supposed to win, in my opinion,” Tigers manager Jim Leyland said.
Andrew Miller, selected by Detroit with the sixth pick of June’s amateur draft, made his major league debut after pitching just five innings in the minors. The 6-foot-6 left-hander from the University of North Carolina pitched a hitless eighth, hitting a batter with a pitch.
“It was a rush. I’ve got so much adrenaline going, I can’t really tell you what I was thinking,” Miller said. “My heart is still racing.”
The opener drew a turnstile attendance of 18,167 out of 52,585 tickets sold. … Yankees INF Andy Phillips, on the disabled list since Aug. 18 with a strained ribcage, is likely to make a minor league rehab appearance later this week. … The Tigers and Yankees met with both teams 25 or more games over .500 for the first time since Sept. 17, 1961.
- Yankees 2, Tigers 0, 1st game
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