With Justin Verlander and Masahiro Tanaka on the mound, Yankee Stadium held place for a namesake pitchers duel on Saturday night.
The hurlers matched the hype for the first four innings. However, with runners at the corners in the fifth, Tanaka faced trouble. Then, things got out of hand, and the Yankees fell, 6-1.
The Play: Ian Kinsler’s three-run homer (.240 WPA)
Tanaka threw left a fastball over the plate and the Missouri product, Kinsler, made him pay. Kinsler’s fifth inning blast marked his 12th homer this season, tied with three others (Cabrera, J. Martinez, Castellanos) for the team lead on the Tigers.
The Yanks were shut down the rest of the way until the ninth, where the Tigers bullpen became the Tigers bullpen, loading the bases with two outs. Unfortunately for the Yankees, they couldn’t capitalize on the threat.
Yankees: Rob Refsnyder (2-3, RBI)
Tigers: Justin Verlander (6.2 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 5 K), Ian Kinsler (2-4, 2B, HR, 5 RBI)
— Ian Kinsler’s homer in the fifth marked the 196th of his career. He’s on pace for over 30 homers and 100 RBIs, a feat the veteran has yet to accomplish in a season.
— The loss marked the end of a five-game winning streak for the Yankees, a streak in which they averaged 6.6 runs per game.
— The Yankees fall back to .500. Their brief reign above marked just the seventh day in 2016 the Yanks have had a winning record.
It’s Old-timer’s Day at Yankee Stadium on Sunday. The Yankees and Tigers square off in a rubber match at 2:05 ET, with Michael Pineda (3-6, 4.11 DRA) taking the hill for the Yankees. In a rocky season, Pineda has shined in his last two starts, allowing just four runs in 12.1 while striking out twelve. The younger and more effective Michael, Michael Fulmer (6-1, 3.18 DRA), will be on the mound for Detroit. The young righty sports a 22.1 inning scoreless streak.
Photo: Noah K. Murray / USATSI