You don’t expect the Tigers to outslug the New York Yankees. You don’t expect to out-bullpen them either. The Tigers managed both in route to a dramatic 8-7 victory in the Big Apple.
With a pair of lefties on the mound against heavily right-handed lineups, in Yankee Stadium, the stage was set for some fireworks, and they showed up on Thursday night. When the smoke cleared, both starters had allowed a pair of home runs and been knocked from the game, and the score was knotted at 5-5 through five innings.
Jeimer Candelario got things started against J.A. Happ, lining a solo shot to left for his 16th long ball of the year in the first inning. As one might expect, Giancarlo Stanton was not to be left out of the dinger parade. The big fella scorched a line drive two-run shot to right in the third off Francisco Liriano to give the Yankees a one-run lead. It would have been worse had Nick Castellanos not gunned down Brett Gardner trying to go first to third on an Aaron Hicks single just previously.
Niko Goodrum put on a show in the fourth. He beat out an infield chopper to second base, then stole second and third base. Ronny Rodriguez made it all moot by clubbing a two-run shot to left to put the Tigers back on top. Unfortunately, Gleyber Torres countered with a two-run shot in the bottom of the fourth to retake a one-run lead over the Tigers. Victor Martinez brought his guys right back in the top of the fifth with a two-run blast to right centerfield that made it 5-4 Tigers and drove Happ from the game. Liriano wasn’t far behind him, allowing a pair of baserunners in the bottom of the fifth, with a Miguel Andujar single plating Aaron Hicks to tie things up once again. Liriano exited at that point.
The Tigers had a fun moment in the top of the sixth when Dawel Lugo smoked a double into the left field corner for his first hit in the major leagues. But with the starters out of the game, things finally settled down for an inning. Yankees reliever Chad Green escaped the inning with no further issue, unfortunately. Drew VerHagen got into a little trouble in the bottom of the sixth, but Daniel Stumpf came on to punch out Brett Gardner and was quite pleased with his efforts.
Daniel Robertson blanked the Tigers in the top of the seventh, and as one would expect, the Tigers’ bullpen blinked first. With one out, Giancarlo Stanton smoked a double down the third base line and under the glove of Jeimer Candelario. Luke Voit jumped all over a Victor Alcantara sinker that was center cut and drilled it over the wall in dead center to make it 7-5 Yankees. Gleyber Torres followed with a single that he foolishly tried to stretch, but Mikie Mahtook hustled to cut it off in left field and gunned Torres down at second to end the inning.
Zach Britton and Alex Wilson handled the eighth inning with little trouble. That left the Tigers with their last shot against Dellin Betances, and they got a rally going when Nick Castellanos drew a one-out walk. Victor Martinez battled Betances, and wouldn’t you know, the elder statesman had another jack in him. Martinez launched a two-run shot to right field and the Tigers had it tied again. And, they weren’t done. Niko Goodrum followed Martinez with a rocket of his own, and just like that, the Tigers were up 8-7 in the ninth. Shane Greene pitched a perfect bottom of the ninth for the save and voila, beating the Yankees is easy, right?
Who was the Tigers Player of the Game?
This poll is closed
Ronnie Rodriguez: 2-4, R, 2 RBI, HR
Niko Goodrum: 4-5, 2 R, RBI, HR, SB
Victor Martinez: 2-5, 2 R, 4 RBI, 2 HR, SO