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Published: Thursday, 4/30/2009

Swisher, Yankees cruise by Tigers

ASSOCIATED PRESS

DETROIT - The New York Yankees might've found their groove in the Motor City.

Nick Swisher hit two homers and Joba Chamberlain gave up a run in seven innings, leading the New York Yankees to an 8-6 win over the Detroit Tigers last night.

The Yankees won two straight in Detroit by a combined score of 19-6 after losing the series opener and three in a row at Boston for a season-high four game skid.

Besides recent results on the field, the Yankees got some good news from their minor league complex.

Three-time MVP Alex Rodriguez could rejoin them within 10 days, according to the doctor who operated on his hip, well ahead of his May 15 target date.

"Are we starting to get excited? Yes," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said before the series finale. "He's taken several steps this week and not had any setbacks."

Swisher hit a three-run homer in the seven-run fourth and added a solo shot in the fifth, giving him a team-high seven home runs.

New York ended up needing the cushion because the Tigers scored five runs in the ninth.

Chamberlain (1-0) gave up three hits and three walks while matching a career high for innings pitched, and looked comfortable as a starter after beginning last season as a reliever.

Rookie Rick Porcello (1-3) allowed a season-high six runs, six hits and three walks while lasting a season-low 32/3 innings.

Placido Polanco's sacrifice fly in the third inning was the only run the Tigers scored against Chamberlain.

After Phil Coke pitched a perfect eighth, the Tigers chased Jonathan Albaladejo with three runs before Mariano Rivera entered to get the final out.

Rivera did, but not before Curtis Granderson hit a three-run homer to make it 8-6.

NOTES: The game was delayed briefly by a false alarm during the bottom of the eighth inning. Strobe lights flashed and fans were told to walk to the nearest stairway and to avoid elevators while players held their positions on the field. When the umpiring crew figured out it was just a false alarm, the game resumed. ... Yankees RHP Chien-Ming Wang was scheduled for a bullpen session today and to pitch in an extended spring training game on Saturday. ... Detroit's Carlos Guillen (right Achilles' tendon) was in the lineup as a DH for the sixth straight game, but the team hopes he's healthy enough to play LF tomorrow at home in the series opener against Cleveland. ... Yankees RHP Ian Kennedy was evaluated Wednesday at New York Presbyterian Hospital and tests showed a spasm in his middle finger. ... A few hours before the game, several Tigers watched Manchester United play Arsenal in an all-English European Champions League semifinal, which United won 1-0.



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