Final

Series: Game 3 of 4

NY Yankees leads 3-0 (as of 5/31)

Game 1: Monday, May 29
NY Yankees4Final
Detroit0
Game 2: Tuesday, May 30
NY Yankees11Final
in 11
Detroit6
Game 3: Wednesday, May 31
NY Yankees6Final
Detroit1
Game 4: Thursday, June 1
NY Yankees6Final
Detroit7

Yankees 6

(31-20, 15-11 away)

Tigers 1

(35-18, 15-11 home)

7:05 PM ET, May 31, 2006

Comerica Park, Detroit, Michigan 

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NYY 100010022 6 11 1
DET 000000001 1 6 0

W: M. Mussina (7-1)

L: N. Robertson (5-3)

Mussina loses shutout in ninth, but tosses CG vs. Tigers

DETROIT (AP) -- Yankees manager Joe Torre could tell right away it was going to be a good night for Mike Mussina.

The veteran right-hander threw his first complete game of the season, taking a shutout into the ninth to lead New York to a 6-1 victory Wednesday night over the Detroit Tigers and a third straight win against the team with the best record in the majors.

"Right from the start, you could see how economical he was," Torre said. "He threw a lot of strikes."

Elias Says
Mike Mussina
Mussina
Hard luck of a different sort cost Mike Mussina a shutout in the Yankees' 6-1 win over the Tigers. Detroit scored its only run with two outs in the ninth, and it was unearned due to an error by Alex Rodriguez. The last Yankees starter to lose a shutout to an unearned run with two outs in the ninth inning was Catfish Hunter in a 1-0 loss to the Red Sox in 1975.

• Despite four consecutive losses to end the month, the Tigers will enter June with the best record in the majors (35-18) after posting a 71-91 record in 2005. Since 1900, only two other teams finished the month of May with the best record in the majors after ending the previous season at least 20 games below .500: the 1951 White Sox and 1993 Phillies.

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Alex Rodriguez went 3-for-4 and drove in two runs for the Yankees, who have won five straight and go for the four-game sweep of Detroit on Thursday night.

The AL Central-leading Tigers (35-18) have lost four straight.

Mussina (7-1) was an out away from his first shutout in nearly a year, but Magglio Ordonez singled home Placido Polanco, who had reached second on an error by Rodriguez.

Mussina settled for a six-hitter. He didn't allow an earned run, walked a batter and struck out five as he won his sixth straight decision. His last shutout was June 14, 2005, against Pittsburgh.

Torre came to the mound once in the ninth inning and was about to come out again to pull Mussina, but the veteran right-hander told his manager to stay where he was.

"They shouldn't have scored at all and I just wanted to finish it," said Mussina, who notched his 57th career complete game.

Detroit threatened twice while it was still a close game.

Singles by Marcus Thames and Brandon Inge put runners on first and second with one out in the third. But Mussina struck out Curtis Granderson looking and got Polanco to fly out

A bunt single by Inge and Granderson's bloop single to left gave the Tigers runners on first and second with none out in the sixth. But Polanco bunted into a force at third and Ivan Rodriguez then grounded into a double play to end the inning.

"He threw strikes and he was around the plate all night," Tigers first baseman Chris Shelton said. "... The ball was doing everything he wanted it to do and we hit some balls at guys."

Detroit's Nate Robertson (5-3) allowed six runs and 10 hits, walking two and striking out seven in 8 2/3 innings.

"I think he pitched very well," Tigers manager Jim Leyland said of his starter. "He gave us a chance and gave our bullpen the rest it needed."

The Yankees were without shortstop Derek Jeter because of a sore right palm, center fielder Johnny Damon because of an injured toe and right fielder Gary Sheffield because of a bad wrist. Miguel Cairo played short, Bernie Williams played center and Terrence Long was in right.

"Guys just have to do what they do," Rodriguez said. "There's really no pressure."

New York took a 1-0 lead in the first on three consecutive two-out singles. Jorge Posada grounded a single up the middle to drive in Jason Giambi.

The Yankees added a run in the fifth on Rodriguez's bases-loaded infield single. A leadoff single by Andy Phillips was followed by a walk to Long. Robertson retired the next two batters, but hit Giambi with a pitch to load the bases. Rodriguez then hit a grounder down the third base line that Inge dove to knock down. But Inge's throw to second pulled Polanco off the bag.

Rodriguez tripled in a run and Robinson Cano brought home another with a fielder's choice in the eighth.

Cairo added an RBI single in the ninth and Giambi followed with a run-scoring double.

Game notes


Sheffield had a MRI exam done on his wrist, but it wasn't scheduled to be read until Thursday morning. ... Detroit purchased the contract of right-hander Zach Miner from Triple-A Toledo and optioned the contract of infielder Jack Hannahan to Toledo. ... The Tigers hit five consecutive grounders to Cairo in the first and second innings to give him five assists and a putout on Detroit's first six batters.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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