• Inside job: Granderson became the fourth Tiger to hit an inside-the-park home run in Comerica Park's eight seasons.
• Glove work: Third baseman Brandon Inge had a Web Gem to rob Melky Cabrera of a hit in the eighth, and first baseman Carlos Guillen turned two key defensive plays in the ninth to help preserve Detroit's win.
• Quotable: "We knew how much we needed this one. A big game against the Yankees means a lot of emotion." -- Zumaya
-- ESPN.com news services
Tigers 5, Yankees 4
The Tigers used three early homers and three late defensive gems
to beat the Yankees 5-4, and can win their first series since
mid-July with a victory in the series finale Monday night.
"We've had some bad moments this year, but the one thing about
this team is that they always give it everything they have,"
Tigers manager Jim Leyland said. "That's the thing that makes a
The Tigers moved within 5½ games of the Seattle Mariners in the
wild-card race. Detroit began the day 2½ games behind Cleveland in
the AL Central.
"We knew how much we needed this one," said Tigers reliever
Joel Zumaya, who pitched 1 2/3 scoreless innings. "A big game
against the Yankees means a lot of emotion."
New York fell 2½ games behind Seattle, and 7½ behind Boston
in the AL East.
"We're all right," manager Joe Torre said.
Hideki Matsui started the inning with a grounder between first
and second, but Guillen, who moved from shortstop to first before
the eighth inning, ranged far to his right to get the ball, then
threw across his body to Jones covering first.
"That was an incredible play," Jones said. "I didn't think he
could get to the ball, but when he did, I figured I better get
myself over to the bag."
"They caught everything we hit," Torre said. "With our
offense, normally we can overcome that."
Guillen, Detroit's All-Star shortstop, has been playing first
base in the late innings of games because of a bad back.
"I'm comfortable there," said Guillen, who started playing
first base in last year's World Baseball Classic. "I'm just trying
to enjoy it and do the best I can."
Bobby Seay (1-0) was awarded the win after pitching two
scoreless innings of relief. The Tigers needed five pitchers after
rookie starter Jair Jurrjens left in the second inning because of a
"It's been a long time coming," said Seay, who hadn't won
since 2001. "This feels good."
Phil Hughes (2-2) lost for the first time since his major league
debut on April 26. He allowed five runs and four hits, including
three homers, in six innings. He walked one and struck out six.
"We lost, so it was a bad start," he said. "That's the only
way you can look at it."
The Tigers had only four hits in the game, none after the third
Curtis Granderson, who leads the majors with 21 triples, led off the
Detroit first with an inside-the-park homer. Granderson hit a
slicing liner down the left-field line that got by Matsui and
rolled to the wall, and he easily beat Alex Rodriguez's relay to
"Once it got by Matsui, I was thinking about third, but then I
saw Gene Lamont waving," he said. "He kept waving and I kept
Placido Polanco singled, and after Hughes retired the next two
hitters, Guillen homered deep into the right-field stands.
Giambi made it 3-1 in the second with a homer that landed in
almost the same spot as Guillen's. Jurrjens left the game without
throwing another pitch, and was replaced by Chad Durbin.
Marcus Thames gave the Tigers a 5-1 lead in the third with a
two-run homer, but Cano made it a one-run game with a three-run
shot off Durbin in the fourth.
The Yankees put two runners on with one out in the fifth, but
Bobby Seay replaced Durbin and retired Bobby Abreu and Alex
Rodriguez to end the inning.
Inge started Detroit's defensive show when he robbed Melky
Cabrera of a leadoff single in the eighth. Cabrera's hard bouncer
up the middle deflected off Zumaya's glove and rolled toward the
third-base line, but Inge made a barehanded pickup and threw
Cabrera out at first.
Zumaya, in his third outing since returning from the disabled
list, then retired Abreu and struck out Rodriguez to end the
inning. He was activated Tuesday after missing more than three
months because of a sprained middle finger.
"I haven't had a strikeout in a while, so it felt really good
to get A-Rod," he said.
Granderson was the fourth Tiger to hit an inside-the-park
homer in Comerica Park's eight seasons. ... The game was delayed
for approximately five minutes while Durbin warmed up after
Jurrjens' injury. ... Cano's homer, which landed in the bushes
beyond the center-field fence, was estimated at 431 feet. ...
Polanco extended his major league record streak of errorless games
at second base to 150. ... Jurrjens was placed on the 15-day
disabled list after the game with inflammation in his right