Monday, May 21, 2018
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Tigers, Yankees trade victories

DETROIT - The Detroit Tigers got exactly what they wanted from the first of two games against the New York Yankees yesterday.

Rick Porcello had a long and successful outing to set up a victory.

Porcello pitched seven sharp innings and Magglio Ordonez drove in one of two runs in the sixth, leading Detroit to a 2-0 win over the Yankees in the opener of a doubleheader.

"It was perfect for us," Tigers manager Jim Leyland said.

The Yankees lost their season-high third in a row, but came back to win the second game 8-0.

In the doubleheader opener, Porcello (3-3) had his best start of the season, giving up four hits.

"It was a big confidence-booster for me and our team needed this to help out the bullpen," Porcello said.

A few hours before the day game, Leyland lamented how much short starts have forced him to rely on relievers more than he'd like.

"Our bullpen will be at the Detroit Medical Center by June if this doesn't change," he said.

Porcello shut down the Yankees with a wicked slider after allowing 22 runs his previous four outings.

"It was more frustrating than anything," Porcello said. "The first couple starts were not good. Then I was better, but I wasn't getting better results."

Ryan Perry pitched a perfect eighth and Jose Valverde closed the game for his 10th save in 11 chances.

New York had a chance to make things interesting in the final inning when Jorge Posada drew a two-out walk, but Valverde ended the game by striking out Nick Swisher and celebrating with a pulsating squat on the mound.

Johnny Damon got a hit as Detroit took a 2-0 lead in the sixth.

Javier Vazquez (1-4) allowed only an infield hit through the first five innings, and struck out a season-high seven in seven innings.

"I was throwing strikes and staying aggressive," Vazquez said. "We lost the game, but it was a big step forward for me.

He responded well to getting extra time to make some adjustments after giving up three homers - matching a career high - in a three-inning start May 1 in what was his shortest healthy outing since 2005.

Vazquez ended the first three innings with strikeouts and was cruising until Austin Jackson and Damon led off the sixth with singles. Ordonez followed with an RBI groundout, then Miguel Cabrera singled and Ordonez scored on Brennan Boesch's single.

"Javy pitched a good game, but we didn't get anything done to help him," New York manager Joe Girardi said. "I was very pleased with the way he threw the ball. Any time you go seven innings and give up two runs, you've got a chance. They just outpitched us."

Porcello got out of jams in the second and fourth innings - stranding five of the seven runners the Yankees left on base.

"Baseball is a strange game," Leyland said. "We go into the game with two pitchers that are struggling and both them looked like they've been pitching great all year."

Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter has been great throughout much of his career, but was hitless for the second straight game in Detroit and fell to 2 for 21 on the road trip.

"I'm not walking around thinking that I'm in a slump because I know I'm hitting the ball hard," Jeter said. "As long as I'm doing that, the hits will come."

In the second game, Phil Hughes was sharp for seven innings as Yankees beat the Tigers 8-0 to split their day-night doubleheader.

Hughes (5-0) gave up five hits and struck out eight. Joba Chamberlain pitched the eighth, and Mariano Rivera closed, ending the Yankees' season-high three-game losing streak.

Jeremy Bonderman (1-2) struck out a season-best seven in a season-long seven innings. He gave up two runs on five hits and a walk.

Alex Rodriguez' two-out single in the first scored Brett Gardner, who singled and stole his 16th base this season. Mark Teixeira's two-out single in the third brought home Jeter, who walked and stole second.

Hughes gave up two hits in the seventh and two hits along with a walk in the fourth, getting out of both jams dominating the bottom of Detroit's order.

Hughes didn't need much run support, but got plenty with a six-run ninth as ex-Yankee Phil Coke gave up four runs on two hits, a walk, and a hit batter.

The Tigers recalled right-hander Alfredo Figaro and sent outfielder Ryan Raburn to Triple-A Toledo before the doubleheader.

Figaro faced Jeter with the bases loaded and no outs in the ninth inning of the second game and got him to ground into a fielder's choice, then was charged with two of the runs that helped New York take an 8-0 lead.

Rivera pitched in the non-save situation because he hadn't been on the mound since April 30.

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