Justin Verlander is the latest pitcher to silence the New York Yankees' lineup. - Oct 17th, 2012 - Sports
The Detroit Tigers own a three-games-to-none lead in the American League Championship Series and are one win away from their first World Series berth in six years following a 2-1 win over the Yankees. Verlander gave up only three hits and was sensational despite just three strikeouts over 8 1/3 innings, limiting the Yanks to a pair of Ichiro Suzuki hits and no walks until Eduardo Nunez led off the ninth with a homer. Verlander is 3-0 with a 0.74 ERA this postseason.
Verlander retired his first 10 batters before Suzuki singled in the fourth, a half-inning before Delmon Young opened the scoring with a solo blast off losing pitcher Phil Hughes.
Hughes left the game two batters after Young's blast, charged with a run and three hits in three-plus innings. The Yankees said Hughes was suffering from a stiff back.
Detroit's second run came on Miguel Cabrera's fifth-inning double. Cabrera had a chance to break open the game an inning later, but he grounded into an inning-ending double play with the bases loaded.
Robinson Cano finally ended his postseason-record batting skid. The Yankees' second baseman had been 0-for-29 since Game 2 of the ALDS before lacing a single with two out in the ninth, putting runners on first and second. But Phil Coke finally closed out the win by getting Raul Ibanez to strike out.
Other than Cano, the Yankees' team-wide batting slump continued despite two significant lineup changes. Third baseman Alex Rodriguez and Nick Swisher stayed on the bench after going a combined 7-for-52 in the postseason. They were replaced by Eric Chavez and Brett Gardner, who went a combined 0-for-7.
The Tigers had tossed 20 straight scoreless innings until Nunez homered. New York has scored in just two of 30 innings the entire series.
The Tigers can wrap up the series Wednesday in Detroit. Max Scherzer will start for Detroit against C.C. Sabathia, who has two of the Yankees' three postseason wins.