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Zimmermann heads Tigers' shutout of Yanks

April 8, 2016

DETROIT -- Jordan Zimmermann made his Tigers debut a memorable one Friday, tossing seven scoreless innings at Comerica Park as Detroit picked up its eighth consecutive home opener win with a 4-0 decision over the Yankees.Zimmermann, the first starting pitcher in modern history to make his Tigers debut in the

DETROIT -- Jordan Zimmermann made his Tigers debut a memorable one Friday, tossing seven scoreless innings at Comerica Park as Detroit picked up its eighth consecutive home opener win with a 4-0 decision over the Yankees.
Zimmermann, the first starting pitcher in modern history to make his Tigers debut in the team's home opener, held the Yankees to a pair of two-out singles -- Jacoby Ellsbury in the third, then Mark Teixeira an inning later.
Tigers' home opener photo gallery
"Pitching in this cold wasn't the ideal conditions, but I made it out," Zimmermann said. "I didn't have my best stuff and I still two-hit the Yankees and gave the team seven, so that was encouraging."

New York didn't put a runner in scoring position against the former Nationals right-hander until his seventh and final inning.
"I thought he did a good job of getting his breaking ball over early after his first go-around," Ellsbury said. "He really didn't miss location. For his first outing in the cold, I thought he threw pretty well."
Yankees starter Luis Severino gave up 10 hits -- nine of them singles -- over five-plus innings. Ian Kinsler doubled and scored on a Miguel Cabrera single in the opening inning before four consecutive singles tacked on a pair of runs in the fourth. Cabrera struck again in the seventh with his first home run of the year, a solo shot into the right-field corner off former Tigers prospect Luis Cessa.

Zimmermann ends threats: The Tigers signed Zimmermann last fall to be a workhorse in the rotation, but he arguably pitched beyond the billing in his first impression. Though he retired eight consecutive Yankees batters from the fourth inning into the seventh, he also picked up a key strikeout of Chase Headley, dropping a two-strike breaking ball that he had to chase with a runner on second in the seventh.
"Fastball command wasn't really there," Zimmermann said. "I was hit-or-miss with that. I missed my fair share over the middle, and they didn't barrel me up today. I got a little lucky in that department, but my offspeed was good and I could throw it wherever I wanted." More >

Let down by 'D' in Big D: Severino's 10 hits allowed were a career high after he allowed no more than seven in any of his 11 starts last season, but he was not hit particularly hard. Three were infield hits knocked down by shortstop Didi Gregorius, while Dustin Ackley had some issues filling in at first base for Teixeira, who slotted as the Yanks' designated hitter.
"I thought he pitched better than the numbers indicated," manager Joe Girardi said. "They seemed to foul off some pitches and put the ball in play and find some holes on him. Obviously it's not his best performance, but I thought he pitched OK." More >

One plus, one minus: It was an afternoon of mixed results for the Yankees' outfield. Aaron Hicks made a terrific diving catch to end the third inning, taking away what would have been an extra-base hit for Cabrera and saving a run, but Ellsbury misplayed J.D. Martinez's fourth-inning fly ball into a single that opened the door for three Detroit runs.
"It kind of just died out. I don't know if it knuckled, it just went straight down," Ellsbury said. "Unfortunately, I didn't have enough time to recover on it. ... I got a great jump on it. It veered a little left, but that wasn't the big thing. The big thing was it basically went straight down."

Four hits for Castellanos: Though Nick Castellanos had some timely two-strike hitting in the Tigers' season-opening series at Miami, he had only a sac fly and an RBI double to show for it. The third-year third baseman returned to Detroit and churned out his third career four-hit game, all singles, including a ground ball through the right side to help fuel the two-run fourth.

He also made a nice over-the-shoulder catch in foul ground to record the Tigers' first out at Comerica Park this season. More >

"I was driving in and I took a wrong turn, and I pretty much circled the ballpark a couple times. I drove right in front of the stadium at 10:30 this morning. Everyone was having a good time." -- Zimmermann, on the Tigers' home opener atmosphere

The Tigers regained a baserunner in the eighth inning after manager Brad Ausmus challenged a force out at second base. A two-minute, 21-second replay review showed second baseman Starlin Castro didn't have contact with the bag when he fielded Headley's throw. Andrew Romine returned to second base, though he was eventually stranded there.

Cessa, who was traded by the Tigers to the Yankees in the Justin Wilson trade last December, made his Major League debut in the seventh inning. The right-hander struck out the first batter he faced, Justin Upton, then surrendered his first hit on Cabrera's opposite-field home run. Detroit had acquired Cessa, a converted infielder, from the Mets in the Yoenis Cespedes trade. More >

Yankees:CC Sabathia won the fifth starter's job over Ivan Nova and will make his first turn in the rotation on Saturday at 1:10 p.m. ET, as the Yankees and Tigers play the second game of this three-game series. Sabathia logged a 5.51 spring ERA, but the Yankees were encouraged by his final five starts of 2015, in which he used a new protective knee brace and posted a 2.17 ERA.
Tigers:Mike Pelfrey, signed in December to fill the fourth spot in Detroit's rotation, is scheduled to make his Tigers debut Saturday afternoon. The big right-hander went 2-2 with a 2.62 ERA in five Grapefruit League starts.
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Jason Beck is a reporter for Read Beck's Blog, follow him on Twitter @beckjason and listen to his podcast. Bryan Hoch is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch, on Facebook and read his MLBlog, Bombers Beat.