DETROIT The New York Yankees sure didn t look like a team suffering from a lack of sleep.
Johnny Damon homered and tripled, Melky Cabrera added a three-run triple and Chien-Ming Wang delivered eight effective innings, leading New York to a 7-2 victory over the Detroit Tigers last night.
Most players didn t arrive at the ballpark until two hours before game time, after Detroit beat New York 9-6 the night before in a game that started more than four hours late because of strong storms. Several players said they did not get to sleep until 5 a.m.
We went through a lot last night, said Yankees catcher Jorge Posada. We needed Wang to step up and do this for us.
The win evened the four-game series, and gave the Yankees a three-game edge on the Tigers in the wild-card race. New York still trailed the wild card-leading Seattle Mariners by 2 games.
Wang (15-6) improved to 5-1 in his last seven starts, allowing two runs one earned on five hits. He struck out six, walked one and held the Tigers without an extra-base hit, ending their streak at 89 games. It was Detroit s longest such streak in at least 50 years.
I just tried to throw sinkers and keep my pitch count down, said Wang, who needed only 107 pitches through eight innings.
Wang is 5-0 in six career starts against the Tigers, including two wins over Jeremy Bonderman this month.
Bonderman (10-7) fell to 0-6 in his last eight starts. He gave up seven runs, eight hits and four walks in 52/3 innings. Bonderman did not strike out a batter as Detroit fell to 12-25 since July 19.
I m puzzled by the way that keeps happening, Tigers manager Jim Leyland said. Believe me, if I had any answers, I d tell everyone, starting with Bondo.
Opponents entered the game hitting .387 against Bonderman in the first inning, and things didn t get any better last night.
Bonderman retired Damon and Derek Jeter to start the game, but Bobby Abreu singled, Alex Rodriguez walked and Hideki Matsui hit a two-run double.
The Yankees put it away with four runs in the sixth inning, started by consecutive hits by Matsui and Robinson Cano. After Wilson Betemit walked to load the bases, Cabrera and Damon followed with back-to-back triples to give the Yankees a 7-2 lead.
I ve got to pitch better than this, Bonderman said. I ve got to find a way to at least give us a chance to win games. I m getting two strikes on guys, but I m not putting them away.
Abreu went 2-for-3 with a pair of walks, and tied a career-high with three stolen bases.
Detroit got a run in the bottom of the first on Magglio Ordonez s RBI single, but Damon restored the two-run lead with a 412-foot homer to right-center in the third.
The Tigers made it 3-2 with an odd run in the fifth. Brandon Inge singled and stole second, before taking third on Posada s passed ball and scoring on Wang s wild pitch.
NOTES: Matsui went 2-for-3 against Bonderman, raising his career average against him to .526 (10-for-19). Bonderman had struck out at least one batter in every start since July 21, 2003, a span of 126 starts.
Polanco streak alive
Tigers second baseman Placido Polanco had his major league record errorless streak restored last night, about 20 hours after it came to an apparent end.
Polanco was given an error for a first-inning throw on Friday, but the official scorer gave the error to first baseman Marcus Thames after reviewing replays and talking to first-base umpire HunterWendelstadt.
Polanco has gone 149 games without an error, a record for second basemen.
Tigers win at 3:30 a.m.
DETROIT Carlos Guillen s three-run homer lifted the Detroit Tigers to a 9-6 win over the New York Yankees early yesterday morning in a game that lasted even longer than the 4-hour and 1-minute rain delay that preceded it.
Alex Rodriguez hit his 43rd homer for the Yankees, who got a poor performance from Roger Clemens. With the loss, the Yankees fell three games behind the Seattle Mariners in the wild-card race.
The Tigers pulled within 1 games of the Cleveland Indians in the AL Central, and moved within five games of the Mariners.
Chad Durbin (8-6) pitched the 11th to earn the win and Sean Henn (2-2) took the loss.
The game lasted 4 hours and 25 minutes and ended at 3:30 a.m. with several thousand fans still at Comerica Park.
The Yankees had chances to go ahead in the ninth and 10th innings, but Fernando Rodney shut them down.
Melky Cabrera hit a leadoff single in the ninth and stole second, but Derek Jeter, Rodriguez and Jorge Posada struck out to end the threat.
Posada argued with umpire Bob Davidson about the called second strike and had to be calmed by first-base coach Tony Pena. When Posada struck out looking, he turned and said something to Davidson and was ejected.
Manager Joe Torre came out of the dugout as Posada shouted face to face with Davidson, and had to physically restrain the catcher from continuing the heated argument.
Rodney walked Hideki Matsui to start the 10th, then got out of the inning with a double play and groundout.
Detroit blew a chance to send its fans home happy in the 10th.
Magglio Ordonez, who homered nearly 4 hours earlier in the first inning, led off the first extra inning with a double and advanced to third on a groundout. Mariano Rivera intentionally walked two Tigers to load the bases, then got out of the jam with a liner and a strikeout.
Curtis Granderson went 4-for-6 with three RBIs. He smashed two triples, extending his major league lead to 21. Ordonez also had four hits for Detroit.
Miller the sixth pick overall 14 months ago won the Clemens Award last year as the best pitcher in college baseball.
After the starters were shaky, both bullpens were solid.
Detroit s Tim Byrdak, Jason Grilli, Bobby Seay and Rodney combined to pitch 52/3 innings of scoreless relief.