Yankees top Tigers 2-1 on McCann’s RBI in 8th inning
DETROIT (AP) -- Brian McCann drove in Jacoby Ellsbury with the tie-breaking run in the eighth inning and the New York Yankees held on to beat the Detroit Tigers 2-1 on a chilly Thursday afternoon.
Ellsbury led off the eighth with a double off Tom Gorzelanny (0-1), took third on Brett Gardner's sacrifice bunt and scored on McCann's groundout.
The teams played in brutal conditions for the second time in 24 hours. After snow fell during Wednesday night's game, the game-time temperature on Thursday was 33 degrees.
While the night game saw 20 batters score 10 runs in a 52-minute first inning, the afternoon turned into a pitching duel between Anibal Sanchez and Masahiro Tanaka.
Sanchez allowed one run on one hit and four walks in 6 1/3 innings, striking out eight. While his control wasn't great, it was a major improvement on his previous two starts, where he allowed 14 runs in 9 2/3 innings.
Tanaka also allowed one run in 6 1/3 innings, giving up three hits and two walks.
Dellin Betances (3-0) picked up the win with 1 2/3 scoreless innings of relief, while Andrew Miller pitched a perfect ninth for his sixth save.
Detroit took the lead in the first inning on Victor Martinez's sacrifice fly, but the Yankees tied the game in the sixth on a strange play.
With a runner on third and two out, Ellsbury bluffed toward home. Sanchez stepped off the rubber and threw home as Ellsbury retreated. None of the umpires made an immediate call, but after several Yankees visibly protested, third-base umpire Gerry Davis called a balk.
Tigers manager Brad Ausmus came out to argue the call and was ejected by Davis.
The Yankees threatened again in the seventh, chasing Sanchez, but Gorzelanny got out of the inning with runners on first and second. The Tigers also had a chance in their half of the inning, but Chase Headley saved a run with a diving stop at third.
Yankees: DH Alex Rodriguez, who was 1 for 11 in the first three games of the series, got a scheduled rest day. Rodriguez had started 14 of New York's 15 games and pinch hit in the 15th.
Tigers: RHP Joe Nathan will miss the rest of the season after tearing the ulnar collateral ligament and the flexor pronator tendon in his pitching arm. The 40-year-old is expected to be sidelined for much of the 2016 season as well, but said Thursday that he hopes to continue his career.
Yankees: Michael Pineda (2-0) faces Jacob deGrom (2-1) in the first game of a three-game home series against the Mets. The Yankees have lost the last four games between the teams at Yankee Stadium.
Tigers: AL ERA leader Shane Greene (3-0, 0.39) goes against Danny Salazar (1-0, 3.00) to start a three-game home series against Cleveland. Detroit swept the Indians in a three-game series at Progressive Field from April 10-12.
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