Yanks belt 3 HRs off Verlander to top Tigers
NEW YORK -- Alex Rodriguez homered for his 3,000th career hit and the Yankees also got home runs from Didi Gregorius and Brett Gardner as they played long ball against Justin Verlander, logging their third straight victory with a 7-2 win over the Tigers on Friday night at Yankee Stadium.
Rodriguez's milestone shot came on the first pitch he saw from the Detroit right-hander in the first inning. Rodriguez is the 29th player in Major League history to reach 3,000 hits, and he joined Wade Boggs and Derek Jeter as the only players to do so with a home run.
"I'm grateful. I'm extremely appreciative to the Yankees giving me an opportunity to put the uniform back on," Rodriguez said. "There were days last year that I sometimes never thought I would get that uniform back on. To be able to play in this stadium in front of these fans, I'm thankful to the Steinbrenner family and the whole Yankee organization."
Gregorius slugged a second-inning solo homer and Gardner hit a go-ahead two-run shot in the fifth off Verlander, who permitted six runs and 10 hits over 6 2/3 innings. It was Verlander's second start after beginning the year on the disabled list with a right triceps strain.
Adam Warren started for New York and held the Tigers to two runs and seven hits over a career-high eight innings. Bryan Holaday's two-run single in the second inning marked the only blemish against Warren, who walked none and tied his career high with seven strikeouts in a 110-pitch effort.
"I thought he was outstanding," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "He was as good as he's been all year, and we pushed him. And he was outstanding."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
History in the Bronx: Rodriguez did not have to wait long for his moment, jumping on a 95-mph fastball and clubbing it the opposite way to right field, where J.D. Martinez ran out of room and thumped against the wall. Rodriguez was met at home plate by the entire Yankees bench, and the scoreboard displayed a large message that read: "Congratulations Alex, 3,000." Rodriguez became just the second player to reach 3,000 hits in a Yankees uniform, joining Jeter, who did it on July 9, 2011. More >
"I'm not really the pointing type after home runs. I'm actually a very boring guy when I hit home runs," Rodriguez said. "Sometimes you do goofy things because you're in the moment, you're enjoying it so much and you're so happy. I'm happy to do it here in front of our fans, how great they've been with me. I was especially happy that my two daughters were sitting behind home plate."
Off night for Verlander: Home runs are usually hard to come by when Verlander is on the mound. Not so much Friday. The Yankees slugged three home runs off the right-hander, the first time he's allowed that many since June 29, 2012, against the Rays. More >
Warren settles in: It had the makings of an early night for Warren in the second inning, as two hits and a hit batsman set up Holaday's two-run single to left-center. The right-hander clamped the damage there, retiring 11 straight before Ian Kinsler's infield single leading off the sixth inning. Warren said that he felt pressure to win the game after Rodriguez's homer. More >
"I just wanted to make the night about him, so trying to get a win made it even better, made it even more exciting," Warren said. "I really felt I had to go out there and put up some zeros. I struggled a little bit right after it. I think I was too amped up, but I settled in there."
V-Mart returns: Tigers designated hitter Victor Martinez marked his return to the lineup with a base hit in his first at-bat of the evening. He immediately got a chance to test his left knee, going first to third on Yoenis Cespedes's double. Martinez, who had been on the disabled list since May 19 with inflammation in his left knee, finished 1-for-4. More >
Baserunning error proves costly: With the Tigers trailing by two runs, Kinsler decided to go for it. The second baseman had started the sixth inning with a single, setting up RBI opportunities for the middle of the order. Miguel Cabrera followed that with a base hit to right field, and the throw to third base got away from Chase Headley. Kinsler tried to swipe home, but the ball bounced back toward Headley, who threw him out at the plate. Two batters later, the inning ended without a run.
"I think if he could do that over, he would've stayed," Tigers manager Brad Ausmus said.
Yankees rookie outfielder Mason Williams was forced to leave the game after sustaining a jammed right shoulder diving back into first base in the fifth inning. Williams was examined by team physician Dr. Christopher Ahmad and no further tests are planned. More >
Tigers: The Tigers will roll out right-hander Alfredo Simon for the second game of this three-game series. He's in the midst of the best season of his career, holding a 2.58 ERA and a 7-3 record. The game is scheduled to start at 7:15 p.m. ET.
Yankees: Following the 69th annual Old-Timers' Day festivities on Saturday, which will include a ceremony to honor Willie Randolph with a Monument Park plaque, Nathan Eovaldi (5-2, 5.12 ERA) will take the ball. He is coming off the shortest start of his career, having allowed eight runs in just two-thirds of an inning to the Marlins on Tuesday.
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