Phil Hughes started and took the loss for the Yankees. Max Scherzer pitched into the 6th, striking out seven to win in his first start of 2013.
Vernon Wells homered for the Yankees. Miguel Cabrera led the Tigers with four hits, Austin Jackson and Torii Hunter added three hits each.
The Tigers got on the scoreboard first thanks to a Yankees error, some aggressive base running and Prince Fielder.
Austin Jackson led off and reached base when shortstop Jayson Nix bobbled what should have been the first out of the game. He went from 1st to 3rd on Miguel Cabrera's single, scoring easily on Fielder's long sacrifice fly to center.
Scherzer allowed three bombs in the 2nd inning, yet somehow allowed only one run.
Vernon Wells led off the inning by crushing a home run to the nether regions of left field, tying the game at 1-all. YES, VERNON WELLS.
Former Tiger Brennan Boesch followed by clobbering a long fly ball to deep right. It looked like it would be back-to-back jacks off the bat, but just stayed within the Comerica Park confines. Showing his inexperience in dealing with the right field wall, Torii Hunter leaped, but didn't come close to catching fly, which took an odd carom into the corner. By the time all was said and done, Boesch was standing on 3rd base with no one out.
Francisco Cervelli hit a lazy fly to short right center. Boesch tagged, Hunter making up for his misplay by firing a laser to Alex Avila.
Boesch was out by eleventy billion feet, give or take. The double play kept the score tied 1-1.
Two down, Lyle Overbay smoked a Scherzer breaking ball to one of the few places a ball hit that hard wouldn't leave Comerica, Death Valley in right center. He had to settle for a LOUD double, and left stranded when Scherzer struck out Nix to end a wild half inning.
Baseball if a funny game. The Yankees doubled, tripled and homered in the inning, yet scored just one run.
Scherzer allowed another loud fly ball in the 3rd, Kevin Youklis doubling off the fence in left for a two out, two base hit, but the Yankees couldn't capitalize. Scherzer struck out Travis Hafner to end the threat.
Equal opportunity squanderers, the Tigers threatened, but did not score, in the bottom half of the 3rd.
Hunter singled, Cabrera doubled into the right field corner past a diving Boesch, leaving runners on 2nd and 3rd with one out. But Fielder flew out to short left, far too shallow for Hunter to tag. The threat fizzled when Brett Gardner robbed Victor Martinez, his diving catch saving two runs.
The Tigers again threatened in the 4th, Jhonny Perlata doubling with one out. But Alex Avila flew out and Ramon Santiago struck out looking, the grammatically challenged Tiger left stranded at 2nd base.
Scherzer settled down after the early fireworks, sitting down seven straight Yankees after Youklis' 3rd inning double.
The top of the order Dynamic Duo struck again in the 5th. Jackson lined a single to left. Hunter cleaned up by ripping a double into the right center field gap, Jackson racing around to score standing up, giving the Tigers a 2-1 lead.
Cabrera made it 3-1 Tigers by bouncing a single over the head of Hughes, Hunter scoring easily. Joe Girardi had seen enough of Hughes, calling left-handed Boone Logan out of the pen.
Martinez hit sacrifice fly to medium right, Cabrera scoring as Boesch's throw was well off line. Cervelli had trouble corralling the throw, allowing Fielder to advance to 2nd. Boesch was charged with an error..
Andy Dirks was hitless on the season. That changed when he beat out a dribbler to the right side for an infield single, Fielder taking 3rd. An unlucky Logan was pulled for righty David Phelps.
Peralta greeted Phelps with a single to left, Fielder rumbling home with the fourth run of the inning, the Tigers now up 5-1. Phelps was able to get out of the inning, Avila flying out, Santiago out looking.
The result? Nine batters, six hits, a sacrifice fly, an error, four runs and a 5-1 Tigers lead after five innings.
The long inning on a chilly afternoon may have affected Scherzer adversely. He lost command in the 6th, walking the first two batters, Robinson Cano and Youklis. Scherzer broke Travis Hafner's bat, but the aging cleanup hitter got enough of the ball to single to short center, Cano scoring.
The hit ended Scherzer's afternoon, Jim Leyland calling on Al Alburquerque. Al-Al proceeded to walk Wells on four pitches, loading the bases.
Boesch hit a line drive right at Fielder, easily doubling off Wells...who was called safe by 1st base umpire Brian O'Nora.
Leyland left the dugout to voice his displeasure with the blown call. To their credit, the umpires conferred, and the call was overturned by home plate umpire Jerry Layne. Girardi would spend the rest of the inning bench jockeying, upset the correct call was made.
Alburquerque remained wild. He immediately replaced Wells at 1st by walking Cervelli, loading the bases for Overbay. He drilled a 2 RBI single to right off a high Alburquerque slider, pulling the Yankees to within a run at 5-4. Alburquerque finally got out of an extremely frustrating inning on 6-4 force off the bat of Nix.
The Tigers quickly countered, scoring twice in the bottom half of the 6th.
The Dynamic Duo, Jackson and Hunter, started the inning with back-to-back singles. Cabrera walked, once again loading the bases.
Fielder's high chopper was turned into a 6-4 fielder's choice, Jackson scoring to give the Tigers a 6-4 lead.
It appeared Phelps would get out of the inning relatively unscathed when Martinez struck out looking, but Dirks came through with his second hit of the season (and first to leave the infield), ripping a liner to right to drive in Hunter.
The Tigers took back two of the three runs they allowed in the previous half inning, holding serve with a 7-4 lead heading into the 7th.
To the relief of everyone in attendance and those suffering through the unlistenable FOX broadcast, Darin Downs was on the mound to start the 7th. The lefty did not disappoint. Why? DOWNS THREW STRIKES.
Downs set down the Yankees in order, striking out two in an electric ten pitch inning. His 8th was a little less effective, walking the lead off man. But Downs set the next three Yankees down in order without incident.
The Tigers extended their lead in the 8th, adding an insurance run. Comically mustachioed Joba Chamberlain loaded the bases in relief, Dirks driving home Cabrera with a sacrifice fly for the Tigers' final run.
Leading 8-4, Joaquin Benoit took the ball for the 9th inning as the bullpen by committee experiment continued. Benoit began making a case for closer in a non-save situation, tossing a 1-2-3 inning.
Game over! The Tigers win their second consecutive game, back over .500 at 3-2. The Yankees fall to 1-4 on the season.
Note from Al: Looking for the Player of the Game poll? We're experimenting with the recaps. We'll post a nuts and bolts recap first, then add another with commentary and the Player of the Game poll not long after. Click here for part two of the recap.