DETROIT -- Giancarlo Stanton's home run made a resounding statement after he was hit by a Mike Fiers pitch, but it wouldn't be enough to carry the Yankees to their sixth straight win. Domingo German gave New York 6 2/3 innings, but he had consistency issues and the Yankees dropped Game 2 of Monday's doubleheader, 4-2, to the Tigers at Comerica Park.
"This is baseball," Aaron Judge said. "Days like this happen. Just have to stick with the approach and get ready for Toronto."
Counter to the offensive outpouring the Yankees mustered in Game 1, when they claimed a 7-4 win, Game 2 offered few chances for racking up runs. German and Fiers both limited the damage and forced a close game. However, the Yankees' offense was unable to capitalize on opportunities in the third and fourth innings, and it proved costly despite Stanton's home run off of Fiers in the sixth inning.
The homer proved to be a measure of payback for Stanton, who didn't hide his displeasure after being hit in the arm by a Fiers fastball in the third inning and was restrained by Tigers catcher James McCann, who walked him up the first-base line.
It was Fiers who hit Stanton, then with the Marlins, in the jaw in a scary incident in September 2014, which ended his season.
"I'm not trying to stir this up, that just is what it is, obviously," said Stanton, who mashed his 13th home run of the season 456 feet, as projected by Statcast™. "Anything like that that happens, no matter how many years it is, I'm not going to be happy. I'm not going to just walk to first and be OK, but it is what it is."
"I understand ... but the way he handled it, I think it was kind of childish," said Fiers. "Anybody knows I'm not throwing at him."
German outlasted Fiers, but he gave up four runs on seven hits, while walking two and striking out three. German's shaky command resulted in too many opportunities for the Tigers, when the Yankees couldn't afford mistakes. The lasting mark for German came off the bat of Jose Cabrera, who smacked a sharp line-drive double down the left-field line to drive him from the game.
"He was struggling to find command of his fastball early and found it," manager Aaron Boone said. "I thought he settled into a nice groove after, a little bit earlier, kind of spraying it all over with the fastball. But he got into a good rhythm, and all in all, gave us a really strong outing."
With neither starting pitcher in complete command, both bullpens played a part. Adam Warren replaced German and gave up only one hit in 1 1/3 innings, but Victor Martinez took advantage of the change and poked an RBI double to score Cabrera for an insurance run on the third pitch by Warren. New York, meanwhile, mustered only one hit against the Tigers' bullpen.
MOMENT THAT MATTERED
In the third inning, after Brett Gardner tripled and scored Clint Frazier from first, Fiers walked Gary Sanchez and then hit Stanton, loading the bases.
It was a golden opportunity for the Yankees to push ahead against Fiers, who struggled with his command throughout the game. But the momentum was halted when Gleyber Torres, playing shortstop for the first time in his young career, grounded back to Fiers, who fired home for the inning-ending forceout.
HE SAID IT
"Oh it's not just a rough day, [it was] a terrible day. But that's the beauty of baseball, is you get to wake up and there's fresh at-bats tomorrow." -- Judge, who struck out five times in the nightcap after fanning three times in Game 1
The Yankees send Carsten Sabathia to the mound to face Marco Estrada and the Blue Jays on Tuesday in the opener of a two-game set at Rogers Centre. Sabathia, who is making his 11th start of the season, is coming off of a rough May in which he gave up 20 runs (16 earned) on 30 hits in 24 1/3 innings, with only 22 strikeouts in that span. First pitch is set for 7:07 p.m. ET.