The Detroit Tigers couldn’t ride the momentum from Tuesday’s exciting series opener past yesterday’s weather postponement, falling to the New York Yankees twice in Thursday’s doubleheader.
Game 1: Yankees 10, Tigers 4
Detroit starting pitcher Matt Boyd gave up four runs (two earned) on a pair of two-out, two-run homers from Luke Voit and Edwin Encarnacion in the first and third innings, respectively. Early back-to-back fielding derps gave the Tigers’ outing a shaky feeling from the start, and with Boyd’s trouble getting his slider to work, it looked like a long afternoon was in the works. But somehow Detroit managed to stay close, Boyd leaving after five innings having set down a bases-loaded, one-out threat. Dawel Lugo’s own two-out, two-run homer off J.A. Happ in the bottom of the fifth cut the deficit in half, keeping hope alive for the Tigers.
It wouldn’t hold. Tigers reliever Bryan Garcia loaded the bases in the seventh with one out, wild-pitched a run in, then gave up a two-RBI double to old friend Cameron Maybin. An inning later, Matt Hall gave up another three runs on a trio of singles and a triple. The Tigers nibbled at lead but couldn’t overcome the Yankees’ offensive explosion, falling 10-4 in the day’s opener.
Game 2: Yankees 6, Tigers 4
Thirty minutes later, the two teams retook the diamond for the back leg of the split doubleheader as an afternoon mist descended upon the field. The fog failed to befuddle the Yankees, plating three runs on the Tigers and starter Spencer Turnbull by the second inning. Detroit got two runs back in the fourth on Brandon Dixon’s double to plate Jeimer Candelario and Jordy Mercer, but little more to show after that. The Yankees hung three more runs the rest of the way, punctuated by a Gio Urshela two-run homer in the ninth off Gregory Soto, who faced three batters without recording an out.
The Tigers piqued some interest in the bottom of the frame with Grayson Greiner’s RBI triple to score Dixon, followed by John Hicks’ RBI ground-ball single to cut New York’s lead to two. But Yankees closer Aroldis Chapman induced Victor Reyes into a routine groundout at second to close the door.
It seemed for a long stretch that both the Tigers and the Yankees were eager to swing themselves off the field; the teams combined for 25 strikeouts, only five of them caught looking. One team is swinging for playoff position; the other, the 2020 draft. With the doubleheader sweep, the Yankees notch their 97th win, handing Detroit their 102nd loss.