DETROIT -- The Yankees looked every bit as sluggish at the plate Thursday night as they did the previous three games, when they managed to plate just three runs.Then came the seventh inning.It took just 14 pitches for the Yankees to flip the switch and turn another disappointing night into
DETROIT -- The Yankees looked every bit as sluggish at the plate Thursday night as they did the previous three games, when they managed to plate just three runs.
Then came the seventh inning.
It took just 14 pitches for the Yankees to flip the switch and turn another disappointing night into a much-needed 5-4 win over the Tigers in a makeup game at Comerica Park.
"Yeah, we needed that," Rob Refsnyder said. "We've definitely been struggling to get runs."
Highlighted by Jacoby Ellsbury's two-run triple, the Yankees erupted for four runs in the seventh inning -- a cushion big enough to hold off Detroit's rally and snap a three-game losing streak.
The late-inning breakout felt a long time coming for the Yankees, who entered Thursday ranked last in the American League in batting average, OPS, slugging percentage and on-base percentage.
"It was really nice to see," manager Joe Girardi said. "Really nice."
Ellsbury inflicted the most damage with his game-changing triple, but it was Refsnyder who jumpstarted New York's offense and slowed down starter Matt Boyd, who was cruising to a win.
Boyd, a lefty who came into the game with a 6.85 ERA in 15 career games, retired the first 14 batters he faced and had a no-hitter into the sixth before Refsnyder spoiled his no-hit bid with a leadoff double.
Refsnyder would strike again in the seventh inning, hitting a go-ahead RBI single to knock Boyd out of the game.
"I figured we'd see [Boyd] a couple times, and hopefully we'd have better swings," said Girardi. "He was pounding the zone, and using his sinker and slider really well, but our guys kept at it."
Recalled from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre on Monday, Refsnyder took the roster spot of Dustin Ackley and is quickly making a strong case to see more playing time.
"He's going to play," Girardi said. "I'm not looking at him to play every day right now, but he's going to play. He's going to get his opportunities."
It was a big win for the Yankees, and a big day for New York's bats after totaling just 19 runs and hitting a dismal .176 in the club's previous eight games.
It also was a big day for Yankees starter Michael Pineda, who entered Thursday with a 6.92 ERA and spot in the rotation potentially in jeopardy.
On the heels of one of his worst appearances this season, Pineda responded with arguably his best start this year, tossing 5 2/3 innings of one-run ball.
"That's the Michael that we've seen, and we know that's what he's capable of doing," Girardi said. "We've seen glimpses of it this year -- it's just that he's made mistakes during the course of the game. But he didn't tonight."
James Schmehl is a contributor to MLB.com based in Detroit.