Robinson Cano tied a Yankees postseason record by driving in six runs as New York defeated the Detroit Tigers 9-3 in the opener of their American League Division Series.
The Texas Rangers defeated the Tampa Bay Rays to even the other AL Division Series at one game apiece. In the National League, the Philadelphia Phillies beat the St. Louis Cardinals 11-6 and the Milwaukee Brewers topped the Arizona Diamondbacks 4-1 in the opening games of their playoff series.
At Yankee Stadium, Cano hit a grand slam and added two run-scoring doubles for the Yankees, who were tied 1-1 with Detroit midway through the second inning when the game was suspended by rain on Sept. 30. His six RBIs tied a franchise postseason record held by Hideki Matsui (Nov. 4, 2009), Bernie Williams (Oct. 5, 1999) and Bobby Richardson (Oct. 8, 1960).
“I wasn’t looking for a home run, just looking for a pitch that I can make good contact and get an RBI,” Cano said in a televised postgame interview.
Ivan Nova allowed two runs on four hits and struck out five in 6 1/3 innings in relief of CC Sabathia, who threw the first two innings before the game was stopped two nights ago. Nova, a rookie, hasn’t lost a game since June 3.
Nova Stays Composed
“I have a lot of confidence in him,” Brett Gardner, who scored a run and drove in two, said in a televised interview. “He maintains his composure out on the mound.”
The Yankees and Tigers play Game 2 today at Yankee Stadium before moving to Detroit for Game 3 tomorrow.
At Rangers Ballpark in Arlington, Texas, the Rays took a 3-0 lead in the top of the fourth inning when B.J. Upton scored on a bases-loaded walk and Matt Joyce hit a two-run homer.
The Rangers responded with five runs in the bottom of the fourth as Adrian Beltre was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded; Mike Napoli hit a two-run-single; Beltre scored on a wild pitch, and Napoli crossed home plate on Mitch Moreland’s groundout.
Ian Kinsler hit a two-run double in the sixth for a 7-3 lead before Tampa Bay’s Evan Longoria hit a three-run homer to bring the Rays within one. Moreland then gave the Rangers a two-run cushion in the eighth with a home run.
“We’re going to their place now and we want to carry a little momentum,” Moreland said.
Game 3 is scheduled tomorrow in St. Petersburg, Florida.
At Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia, Ryan Howard hit a three-run homer and Raul Ibanez added a two-run shot in the Phillies’ sixth inning, taking the lead from the Cardinals, who scored three runs in the first on Lance Berkman’s homer off Roy Halladay.
After the Phillies built an 11-3 lead, the Cardinals scored three times in the ninth on a single by Adron Chambers and a two-run double by Skip Schumaker.
Halladay pitched eight innings, striking out eight while giving up three hits and three runs for the Phillies, owners of Major League Baseball’s best regular-season record at 102-60.
“Well, it’s not good to be down 0-1, but when you’re the visiting team the goal is to try to win one of the two games here and then go back home and see what happens,” Berkman said.
The Cardinals play again at Philadelphia today in Game 2.
At Miller Park in Milwaukee, Yovani Gallardo struck out nine and held the Diamondbacks to four hits and one run in eight innings. Reliever John Axford pitched a perfect ninth inning.
Jerry Hairston Jr. started the scoring for the Brewers in the fourth inning, sending home Ryan Braun with a sacrifice fly. Jonathan Lucroy hit a run-scoring single in the sixth inning and Prince Fielder completed the Brewers’ scoring with a two-run homer off starter Ian Kennedy in the seventh at Miller Park in Milwaukee.
Braun had three hits and threw out a runner at the plate for the Brewers.
“If your stars don’t produce, you’re putting a lot of pressure on everybody else to try to pick it up. That’s not how we rolled this year,” Brewers manager Ron Roenicke told reporters. “We rolled because Brauny and Prince did their thing and everybody else fit in well with either getting on base for them or contributing down in the bottom of the order.”
Ryan Roberts accounted for the Diamondbacks’ only run with a solo homer to center in the eighth inning.
The Brewers host the Diamondbacks in Game 2 today.