Gritty Gardner Gives Yanks' Walk-Off Win Over Tigers • Latino Sports


Gritty Gardner Gives Yanks’ Walk-Off Win Over Tigers


Yankee Stadium, the Bronx- A rematch of last season’s ALCS ended on a positive note for the New York Yankees, as Brett Gardner’s RBI-single through the hole at shortstop provided the Pinstripes with their fourth walk-off win, a 4-3 extra inning victory over the first place American League Central Detroit Tigers.

Friday night’s game was full of distractions, starting with the 47 minute rain delay prior to the start of the contest, to the varied reactions of Alex Rodriguez [0-for-4 with three strikeouts] making his home return to the Bronx Bombers.

None of this however, not even the venerable Mariano Rivera blowing a ninth inning save attempt- could prevent Gardner [3-for-5] from pulling through after a tumultuous road trip that has the Yankees playoff chances sliding precariously away by the day.

The Yankees led 3-1 going into the top half of the ninth inning until Rivera endured his second consecutive blown save, giving up a two-run homer to last season’s Triple Crown winner Miguel Cabrera that tied the game at 3-3.

“No, we want to have the lead in the ninth. You don’t want to face Mariano,” said Cabrera on facing the all-time saves leader.

“Cabrera put a tough at-bat on him,” said Yankees manager Joe Girardi on Cabrera’s at-bat in the ninth against Rivera. “Fouled a bunch of pitches off. Fouled it off his knee. Fouled it off his foot. He did a good job of getting two strikes. He just couldn’t put him away.”

For Cabrera [who leads the American league with a .360 batting average], it was his 34th home run of the season, snapping Rivera’s 23 consecutive saves against Detroit dating back to the 1999 season, four years before Cabrera even broke into the Majors.

“I said it two or three days ago in Chicago, and I’ll say it again tonight: He probably won’t do it again the rest of the season,” Gardner said. “He’ll probably reel off 15 or 20 straight from here to the end of September.”

The Yankees stranded second baseman Robinson Cano in the bottom of the ninth inning against Tigers’ reliever Jose Veras, but rung up Al Albuquerque for his third loss of the season in relief [2-3] in the bottom of the tenth to snap a four-game losing streak.

It all started with a lead-off walk to third baseman Jayson Nix [who came in for Rodriguez in the top of the ninth], as Nix eventually made his way to third base on a wild pitch by Albuquerque, scoring the game-winning run on Gardner’s fourth walk-off hit of his career.

Relief pitcher Shawn Kelley upped his record to 4-1, receiving the win by getting out the only batter he faced in the top of the tenth, a Torii Hunter pop-up to first baseman Lyle Overbay. The Tigers got as far second base in the tenth against Boone Logan, where Tigers’ catcher Brayan Pena got stuck.

The Yankees’ Ivan Nova had another frustrating no-decision in holding the Tigers to one earned run off eight hits in seven innings pitched with seven strikeouts. Nova is now the first Yankee since CC Sabathia in 2011 to toss at least seven innings while allowing three earned runs or less in six straight starts.

Detroit starter Rick Porcello  also picked up a no-decision to remain unbeaten over his last six starts, and surrendered the first three Yankee runs on six hits in five innings pitched. Porcello is now 0-1 with an 8.10 ERA in two career starts at Yankee Stadium.

New York ended Detroit’s 12 game win streak, scoring their first run in the bottom of the first on a ground-out RBI by Alfonso Soriano to make it 1-0, while adding two more runs in the bottom of the third inning on an two RBI-double by Cano into left center-field for a 3-0 advantage.

Friday’s win was the first time the Yankees ended an opponents 12 game win-streak, since they put an end to Boston’s 12 straight wins back in August of 1995 according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

About Oren Vourman