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Tigers 12, Yankees 11: Jordy Mercer walks it off in thrilling victory over league’s best

Despite allowing six home runs, the Tigers nickel-and-dimed their way to victory over the Bronx Bombers.

MLB: New York Yankees at Detroit Tigers Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

It was a battle of worst against first at Comerica Park on Tuesday night. The team with the worst record in Major League Baseball went up against the team with the best, but in true David vs. Goliath fashion, it was your Detroit Tigers who came out victorious against the New York Yankees in a wild 12-11 shootout.

If you turned it off after the second inning, then boy did you miss one heck of a game. The Yankees bludgeoned Tigers’ starter Edwin Jackson out of the game with a five run second inning and led 6-0 at that point.

Shockingly, the Tigers scored six runs on six singles in the third to stun the Yankees and get right back into it. Tyler Alexander relieved Jackson and managed to stabilize the game from there. Despite allowing two runs via solo home runs, Alexander struck out four and allowed the offense a chance to make their comeback.

Like Rocky Balboa vs. Apollo Creed, the underdogs traded blows with the heavyweight offense of the Yankees. Despite Comerica Park not being a park conducive to home runs — or so we’ve been told — the all-time MLB single-season home run record was shattered there for the second time in as many weeks. Last weekend it was the Twins who came in and did it, and Tuesday night it would be the Yankees who would slug six to push one past the Twins to 276 total on the season.

While the Bronx Bombers slugged their way to 11 runs, the Motor City Kitties managed to become death by a million paper cuts in return. Of their 16 hits, only two were for extra bases — a fifth inning solo shot by the red hot Christin Stewart for his 10th homer of the season and a timely ninth inning double by Grayson Greiner. The Tigers have been light in the power department for much of the season, but were able to consistently string together good at bats all evening to score their 12 runs.

The Tigers eventually captured a 10-8 lead in the sixth courtesy of a two-run single from Jeimer Candelario, but the Yankees would take it right back in the seventh thanks to back-to-back home runs from Edwin Encarnacion and Didi Gregorious. John Schreiber and Daniel Stumpf were each victimized for a home run as the Yankees went up 11-10.

Another Yankee lead was short-lived however, as Harold Castro would tie it right back up in the bottom half of the inning with an RBI single to score Jordy Mercer. Buck Farmer would go on to throw a scoreless eighth despite a lead off walk. Joe Jimenez would throw a dominant ninth, striking out a pair of hitters and setting the stage for Mercer’s walk-off.

Grayson Greiner set the table with his third hit of the night, a double with one out in the bottom of the ninth inning. Jordy Mercer stepped to the dish and lined one into the gap in right field as pinch runner Willi Castro scampered home with an improbable game winner.