Sabathia pitched seven scoreless innings yesterday at Comerica Park, while Jayson Nix and Francisco Cervelli -- two of the last three hitters in New York’s lineup -- combined to go 5- for-8 with a home run and four runs batted in.
After losing the first two games in the rematch of last season’s American League Championship Series, the Yankees scored three runs in the second inning against Verlander, who won the 2011 AL Cy Young Award and was last year’s runner-up. Cervelli opened the scoring with an RBI double and Nix followed with a two-run homer.
“They have a winning mentality about them and they’re going to find a way to win this year,” Verlander said of the Yankees. “You don’t ever take anything for granted. As you saw, it was the bottom of the lineup that did the damage.”
New York improved to 2-4 and avoided its first 1-5 start since the 1989 Major League Baseball season. The Yankees are tied for last place in the AL East with the Toronto Blue Jays, who lost 13-0 yesterday to the first-place Boston Red Sox.
Detroit, which swept the Yankees four-games-to-none in last season’s AL championship series, fell to 3-3 on the season.
The Atlanta Braves, Colorado Rockies and Arizona Diamondbacks all won yesterday to improve to 5-1, tied for the best record in the major leagues. The Braves beat the Chicago Cubs 5-1, the Rockies rolled past the San Diego Padres 9-1 and the Diamondbacks topped the Milwaukee Brewers 8-7 in 11 innings.
The New York Mets are 4-2 after beating the Miami Marlins 4-3 on a two-run single by Marlon Byrd in the bottom of the ninth inning. The Mets are tied in the NL East with the Washington Nationals, who lost 6-3 to the Cincinnati Reds.
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