Avila Answers Back, Leads Tigers To Extra Innings Win Over Yankees • Latino Sports

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Avila Answers Back, Leads Tigers To Extra Innings Win Over Yankees

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Yankee Stadium – The hoopla going into Tuesday night’s draw between the visiting Detroit Tigers and host New York Yankees, was the storyline that rocked the baseball world when it was announced that David Price would join the already star-studded Tigers rotation.

While Price, the former ace of the Tampa Bay Rays did not disappoint, going 8.2 innings for three earned runs off eight hits with 10 strikeouts to garner a no-decision, it was Detroit catcher Alex Avila who stole the show with his 12th inning dramatics in a 4-3 Tigers win.

With the game tied at 3-3 in the top half of the 12th inning, the Yankees had just about ran out of relievers when they sent out right-hander Matt Daley.

Avila, who tied the game back in the top of the seventh inning with an RBI-single into right-field, bolted the Tigers back on top for good with a blast over the scoreboard in right, his eighth homer of the season for a 4-3 Tigers lead.

“The RBI-single was big, but the homer was huge,” said Detroit manager Brad Ausmus. “Looks like he [Avila] is turning the corner now.”

In a lineup featuring four batters with above .300 averages, it was Avila, the .217 hitter who ended the night by going 2-for-5 with two RBIs [30, 31] and the game-winning home run.

“Just a 1-0 count, trying to get something up in the zone and get a swing on it,” said Avila on the home run.

The Tigers originally led 1-0 in the top of the first inning after Victor Martinez hit a sacrifice-fly RBI [66] into left-field off Yankees’ starting pitcher Hiroki Kuroda, scoring Rajai Davis from third base.

The Yankees pushed Price though, as a solo-shot home run [12] by Brian McCann tied the game at 1-1 in the second inning, while an RBI-double [51] by Jacoby Ellsbury in the third inning put the Pinstripes ahead 2-1.

“He’s gotten me a couple times this year. I think he’s got a quarter of his home runs off me,” joked Price on the home run to McCann.

Late season addition Martin Prado began the bottom of the fifth inning with his first home run as a Yankee and his 16th on the season, a high floater over the wall in left-field that placed the Bombers ahead 3-1. Price, the current strikeout king with 199 on the season, struck out the side to end the inning, but showed that he was not untouchable.

“I threw him everything I had. He’s a good hitter, definitely not an eight-hole guy,” said Price of Prado. “Not very fun when you see a guy like that in the eight-hole.”

The Tigers get one run back in the bottom of the sixth inning after Andrew Romine [brother to former Yankee catcher Austin Romine] slapped his second homer of the season over the short porch in right-field to make it 3-2 Yankees, while Avila scored the final two runs of the game.

New York had a chance to tie the game in the bottom of the 12th inning, as third baseman Chase Headley took Tigers’ closer Joe Nathan to the warning track in right-field before J.D. Martinez pulled it down for the first out of the inning.

“Just held my breath on Headley’s ball,” said Ausmus. “It sounded solid when he hit it.”

With three fly-ball outs, Nathan recorded his 23rd save of the season.

Joba Chamberlain, complete with a Santaesque beard, made his return to the Bronx in the bottom of the ninth to a chorus of boos that only amplified when he accidentally hit Derek Jeter on the arm in the bottom of the 10th inning.

“I never felt worse in my life,” said Chamberlain on hitting Jeter. “It was awful. Obviously he’s so good, you have to go in on him…I’m not trying to hit him, last thing I’m trying to do.”

Detroit’s Torii Hunter was also drilled, and left the game with a left-hand contusion in the top of the ninth after being hit by an 85 mph knuckle-curve from Yankees’ reliever Dellin Betances. Hunter’s x-rays were negative.

Notes: The Yankees made two snazzy defensive plays on the evening. The first by Jeter when he flashed the leather, snagging a potential extra base hit away from Miguel Cabrera in the top of the fourth inning.

Yankees’ second baseman Brendan Ryan one-upped Jeter when he went straight up for a pop-up off the bat of J.D. Martinez on the grass behind second base. The ball flew out of his glove, forcing Ryan to make the barehanded catch one-handed as the speakers at Yankee Stadium blared, “You’re Unbelievable” by EMF.

About Oren Vourman

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