Miggy's blast highlights Tigers' win vs. Yanks
LAKELAND, Fla. -- Miguel Cabrera's mammoth two-run home run over the batting eye behind center field punctuated a go-ahead five-run seventh inning, overcoming a two-homer game from Ben Francisco to send the Tigers to a 10-6 win over the Yankees on Saturday afternoon at Joker Marchant Stadium.
On a day when Torii Hunter made the highlight play by keeping a ball in the park, scaling the right-field fence to take back Kevin Youkilis' fly ball in the third inning, Jhonny Peralta, Cabrera and Kevin Russo drove the ball where all the Yankees' outfield could do was watch.
Peralta's drive to the left of the backdrop in center, his second home run of the spring, led off a three-run fifth inning against Andy Pettitte after the left-hander held Detroit to a run on two hits over the first four innings.
Three more hits after Peralta's homer, including an Alex Avila double off the left-field wall and a Hunter RBI double, tied the game. Pettitte rebounded to last 6 1/3 innings in his second start of the spring, more than doubling his innings from his previous outing.
The five-run seventh came after Pettitte was relieved by Cody Eppley, who failed to retire any of the five batters he faced. Hunter greeted Eppley with a one-out single before Cabrera cleared the estimated 30-foot high backdrop in straightaway center for his fourth homer of Grapefruit League play. Victor Martinez, Matt Tuiasosopo and Avila added RBI hits.
The Yankees whittled their deficit when Francisco jumped a fastball from Tigers closing candidate Bruce Rondon for a two-run homer in the eighth, but former Yankees farmhand Russo slugged an eighth-inning homer to pad the lead.
Francisco's fourth-inning solo homer to the left-field berm was one of four Yankees runs off Anibal Sanchez in their first meeting with the right-hander since he shut them down for seven innings in last October's American League Championship Series. Youkilis gained some measure of revenge for his robbery with a two-run double into the left-field corner in the fifth inning.
The announced crowd of 10,084 is the fourth-largest in the Tigers' 48-year history at Marchant Stadium.
Up next: The Tigers will bring all their regulars with them when they start a two-day trip to the Atlantic coast of Florida with a 1:10 p.m. ET game against the split-squad Mets in Port St. Lucie on Sunday (Watch on MLB.TV). Doug Fister will make his next-to-last start of the spring, while Al Alburquerque, Darin Downs and Jose Alvarez make their pitches for bullpen spots. Matt Harvey is scheduled to start for New York.