Series: Game 3 of 3

New York won 3-0

Game 1: Friday, September 20
New York 5Final
Detroit 1
Game 2: Saturday, September 21
New York 3Final
Detroit 2
Game 3: Sunday, September 22
New York 4Final
Detroit 3

Yankees 4

(98-57, 48-30 away)

Tigers 3

(54-101, 33-47 home)

    12:05 PM ET, September 22, 2002

    Comerica Park, Detroit, Michigan 

    123456789 R H E
    NYY 301000000 4 - -
    DET 011010000 3 - -

    W: D. Wells (18-7)

    L: M. Maroth (6-9)

    S: M. Stanton (5)

    Wells wins 18th; White drives in two runs

    DETROIT (AP) -- Now, Rondell White has another thing to be excited about -- the end of a long slump.

    One day after the Yankees' wild celebration of their fifth AL East title in a row, White broke out of a 7-for-50 skid with three doubles and two RBI to lead New York to a 4-3 win over the Detroit Tigers on Sunday.

    "After all of the partying yesterday, I felt very relaxed and happy," he said. "It's hard to worry about a slump when you are having that much fun."

    With Shane Spencer injured, White is competing for the left field spot in the postseason.

    "I don't know if it will be Rondell or Juan Rivera or John Vander Wal -- that decision will all depend on who we are facing and just my hunches," Yankees manager Joe Torre said. "It's nice to have that many options, though."

    The Yankees, playing a makeshift lineup the day after clinching the AL East, swept the three-game series to win the season series 8-1.

    The Tigers lost their fifth game in a row and their 101st of the year.

    "I never expected this coming out of spring training," said manager Luis Pujols, who began the season as Phil Garner's bench coach. "I try to think positive, so I was expecting at least .500."

    David Wells (18-7) won for the sixth time in his last seven starts, allowing three runs -- two earned -- on seven hits in eight innings. He did not walk a batter.

    Detroit is trying to avoid setting an AL record for fewest bases on balls.

    "It's scary to face the Tigers, because they just hack like crazy," Wells said. "It's like pitching in A-ball again, and that was always my worst league. They will swing at anything."

    Rookie Mike Maroth (6-9) allowed four runs in eight innings for his fourth loss in five starts. He walked one and hit two batters with pitches.

    "I obviously didn't have my rhythm," he said. "I got behind too many hitters -- I felt like I was 2-0 or 2-1 to too many batters and then you have to give them something to hit. They hit the ball, that's for sure."

    Mike Stanton pitched the ninth for his fifth save.

    A crowd of 23,930 showed up for the last home game of retiring Tigers radio announcer Ernie Harwell's career. The game started four hours before the scheduled kickoff of the Detroit Lions' home opener at new Ford Field, just across the street from Comerica Park.

    New York jumped out to a 3-0 lead off Maroth in the first on RBI doubles by White and Raul Mondesi and a run-scoring groundout by Ron Coomer.

    "He just made a couple mistakes and got hurt by them," Pujols said. "Other than a couple pitches with bad location, he threw the ball well."

    Detroit made it 3-1 in the second on Damion Easley's RBI single before the teams traded runs in the third.

    White's second double of the game scored Mondesi in the top half before Fick made it 4-2 with a sacrifice fly.

    Easley pulled Detroit back within one in the fifth, hitting his first homer since Aug. 20.

    "Damion has always hit me, and he did it again today," Wells said. "I'm just glad we hung on to win, because I hate noon starts. I don't like any day game, but I especially don't like noon starts. I felt blah all day."

    Game notes

    3B Coomer made a double error in the third inning, leading to an unearned run. Coomer misplayed Craig Monroe's grounder, then threw the ball into the first-base stands, allowing Monroe to take second. Monroe scored on Fick's sacrifice fly. ... Derek Jeter, Jason Giambi, Robin Ventura and Bernie Williams were among the New York regulars to take the day off. ... Easley's homer was his first against Wells in 51 career at-bats. ... Harwell began his Detroit career in 1960. The Tigers will name the Comerica Park press box in his honor. Harwell's wife Lulu performed the final of the daily video tributes after the seventh inning. ... Yankees 2B Alfonso Soriano went 0-for-4 and remains one homer short of becoming the fourth 40-40 player in major league history.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press