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Tigers Beat Yankees 5-4 for 2-1 Series Lead; Rangers Beat Rays

Delmon Young #21 of the Detroit Tigers celebrates in the dugout after his seventh inning home run against the New York Yankees in game three of the American League Division Series at Comerica Park on Oct. 3,  2011 in Detroit, Michigan. Photographer: Gregory Shamus/Getty Images
Delmon Young #21 of the Detroit Tigers celebrates in the dugout after his seventh inning home run against the New York Yankees in game three of the American League Division Series at Comerica Park on Oct. 3, 2011 in Detroit, Michigan. Photographer: Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

Oct. 4 (Bloomberg) -- The Detroit Tigers won 5-4 to move within one victory of ending the New York Yankees’ Major League Baseball season.

Delmon Young hit a solo home run off Yankees reliever Rafael Soriano in the bottom of the seventh inning to snap a 4-4 tie last night at Comerica Park in Detroit. Young’s homer came after the Yankees scored two runs in the top of the inning against Justin Verlander.

Derek Jeter struck out against Jose Valverde with the potential tying run on second base to end the game. The Tigers have won consecutive games in the best-of-five American League Division Series after a 9-3 loss in Game 1.

“This team has a never-say-die attitude,” Verlander, who had 11 strikeouts and threw 120 pitches over eight innings, said in a televised interview. “We’ve done it all year.”

Detroit hosts Game 4 today and with a victory would advance to the AL Championship Series for the first time since 2006. A win by the Yankees would force a decisive fifth game on Oct. 6 in New York.

The Texas Rangers beat the Tampa Bay Rays 4-3 yesterday to take a 2-1 lead in their AL first-round series.

The Rangers trailed 1-0 before scoring all their runs in the seventh inning at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida. Mike Napoli hit a two-run home run and Josh Hamilton added a two-run single for Texas, which has also won two in a row after losing its series opener.

Game 4 Matchups

Tampa Bay hosts Game 4 today, when pitcher Jeremy Hellickson starts for the Rays against the Rangers’ Matt Harrison. Texas would return to the AL Championship Series with a victory, while a Rays victory sends the teams back to Arlington, Texas, for a decider on Oct. 6.

The Yankees turn to pitcher A.J. Burnett today to keep their season alive, while the Tigers will start Rick Porcello.

Both National League playoff series continue today, with the St. Louis Cardinals hosting the Philadelphia Phillies and the Milwaukee Brewers visiting the Arizona Diamondbacks.

The Cardinals and Phillies split their first two games in Philadelphia, while the Brewers are seeking a sweep after winning the first two games in Milwaukee.

Pitcher Cole Hamels will start for the Phillies against the Cardinals’ Jaime Garcia, who is 2-1 with a 1.20 earned run average in six career starts against Philadelphia. Shaun Marcum makes his first postseason start for the Brewers and will be opposed by Arizona’s Josh Collmenter, who didn’t allow a run in 14 innings against Milwaukee this season.

Yankees’ Early Lead

The Yankees jumped out to a 2-0 first-inning lead against Verlander last night as Curtis Granderson drove in Jeter with a triple and scored on a groundout.

Verlander and the Yankees’ CC Sabathia started three days after rain scrapped their Game 1 matchup after 1 1/2 innings.

Sabathia walked four of the first six batters he faced, yet escaped trouble with double plays in both the first and second innings. The Tigers tied the game in the third and took the lead on Ramon Santiago’s run-scoring double in the fifth.

Jhonny Peralta drove in Detroit’s fourth run with a sixth-inning double and was the next-to-last batter faced by Sabathia, who allowed seven runs and a season-high six walks over 5 1/3 innings.

Yankees Tie

The Yankees pulled even in the seventh on Brett Gardner’s two-out, two-run double. Soriano immediately gave the lead back, allowing the go-ahead homer to Young, the second batter he faced in the bottom of the inning.

Verlander was the winning pitcher, allowing six hits and four runs over eight innings. Valverde closed out the Yankees in the ninth to record the save, his 50th this year after leading the majors with 49 in the regular season. After issuing two walks, he struck out Jeter on a high fastball.

Jeter has six strikeouts in 15 at-bats this postseason, while Mark Teixeira and Alex Rodriguez are a combined 1-for-21 in the series.

“We have to give A.J. some runs,” Yankees designated hitter Jorge Posada told reporters. “We just have to stay positive and grind some at-bats out. We’re looking forward to it.”

The Rangers were held scoreless for six innings by Rays starting pitcher David Price before Napoli, who had 30 homers this season, put Texas ahead.

‘Year of the Napoli’

“This is the year of the Napoli, man,” Rays manager Joe Maddon said. “He is just hot.”

Hamilton drove in two more runs for the AL West champions in the inning with his single off reliever J.P. Howell. Colby Lewis was the winning pitcher for the Rangers after allowing one hit -- a solo homer by Desmond Jennings -- in six innings.

The Rays scored single runs in the seventh and eighth innings, with Desmond Jennings hitting his second homer of the game to make it 4-3. Tampa Bay had runners on second and third base in the eighth before Ben Zobrist struck out to end the threat. Rangers reliever Neftali Feliz, who struck out Zobrist, then got the final three outs, including a double-play groundout to end the game.

“It was three of the toughest innings that we experienced all year,” Rangers manager Ron Washington said. “You had two ball clubs out there that never quit playing.”

To contact the reporter on this story: Erik Matuszewski in New York at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Sillup at

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