Headley, McCann HRs help Yanks best Verlander
Capuano logs 6 2/3 strong frames; Warren solid in relief to earn win
NEW YORK -- Matching up against a trio of former American League Cy Young Award winners prompted forecasts for slumbering lumber in the Bronx, but having navigated that challenge of top-level competition, the Yankees feel like they were able to get through just fine.
Chris Capuano earned a standing ovation for a terrific start and Brian McCann connected for a go-ahead home run off Justin Verlander, leading the Yankees to a 5-1 victory over the Tigers on Wednesday night at Yankee Stadium.
"It's huge. It all starts with starting pitching," said Chase Headley, who also homered off Verlander. "When those guys go out there and give us a chance to win each and every night, I feel like this lineup has the capability to put some runs on the board."
Dented by the two long balls, Verlander remained winless in six career starts at the current Yankee Stadium. New York tacked on three eighth-inning runs against the bullpen, securing their fourth victory in the last five games.
The win was tempered by an injury to Mark Teixeira, who sliced his left pinky finger while sliding into home plate to score the fifth Yankees run. X-rays were negative, but Teixeira received three stitches and will be out of the lineup for at least one game.
"You've got to deal with it," manager Joe Girardi said. "We've had to deal with it all year long, and we'll deal with it. We'll find a way."
They did this week, hanging tough against Max Scherzer and David Price in the first two games of the series before running into Verlander on Wednesday. Girardi said that taking two of those three games, with 13-game winner Rick Porcello looming for Thursday, was meaningful.
"It just shows you what our guys have done pitching, and our guys have put some good at-bats on these guys," Girardi said. "We've pitched extremely well so far in this series and it doesn't get any easier tomorrow."
Just 2 1/2 weeks ago, Capuano was doing his soft-tossing at Triple-A Colorado Springs in the Rockies' system, trying to claw back to the big leagues after being designated for assignment by the Red Sox in June.
Sold to the Yankees on July 24, Capuano has been a solid addition through three starts. The left-hander struck out eight Tigers over 6 2/3 innings, permitting just an unearned run on five hits.
"You hit the reset button and go back to basics," Capuano said. "To have a chance to be here now and pitch for these guys is more than I could've hoped for."
Capuano had some help from his defense; Jacoby Ellsbury made a leaping grab at the wall to take away an extra-base hit from J.D. Martinez in the sixth inning, and Capuano pumped his fist high in the air as he left the field.
"You're just hoping it stays in the park," Capuano said. "That ball was carrying there and I thought it was going to get out. To watch Ells come down with it was exhilarating. It was just awesome."
Adam Warren relieved Capuano after a pair of two-out singles in the seventh, qualifying for the win when McCann's blast carried into the right-field bullpen.
Warren pitched out of trouble in the eighth after Stephen Drew committed two errors on the same play -- bobbling Victor Martinez's grounder and then throwing wildly to first base. Warren recorded a strikeout and a flyout, stranding two men aboard.
"I got behind on some of those guys, and Mac came out and said, 'We're not going to give in on those guys,'" Warren said. "So, we just kept trying to make quality pitches and it worked out for us."
Verlander fell to 0-3 on this side of 161st Street, where he has allowed 18 earned runs in 38 innings (4.26 ERA). The 2011 AL Cy Young Award winner permitted five hits, walking one and striking out five.
"I'm not going to dwell on two homers," Verlander said. "Headley's was gone anywhere; McCann's probably not in a lot of places. Overall, it was a good game."
Detroit's only run scored in the first inning, as Derek Jeter booted a Rajai Davis ground ball to start the game. A wild pitch and a groundout advanced Davis, who scored on Miguel Cabrera's sac fly.
"Tonight was as bad as we've been offensively, I think really all year," Detroit manager Brad Ausmus said.
In the eighth, Teixeira knocked a run-scoring single, then raced home as shortstop Andrew Romine threw wildly on a fielder's choice that scored Ellsbury.
Teixeira was initially ruled out at the plate, but replay overturned that call, allowing closer David Robertson to take a seat as David Huff pitched a scoreless ninth.
"I think we're playing good baseball right now," Warren said. "I think we have a good chance to go out tomorrow and take a series against a very good team."