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NEW YORK — In a long-ball derby, Tigers manager Jim Leyland preferred Brennan Boesch's simple sacrifice fly as the hit of the game.
Boesch's run-scoring flyball was just one of four RBIs for the designated hitter on a four-hit day, and Miguel Cabrera hit two home runs as Detroit outslugged the New York Yankees 10-7 Sunday for its first win of the season.
"I thought that was a great at-bat. Two strikes, hit the ball the other way," Leyland said of the fly to left in the sixth inning that made the score 9-6.
Batting in the No. 3 spot in place of Magglio Ordonez, who was out because his surgically repaired ankle was sore, Boesch had a homer among his career high-tying four hits and scored four runs as the Tigers rebounded from a 10-6 loss Saturday.
Jorge Posada smashed a pair of two-run homers, Mark Teixeira connected for the third straight game and Robinson Cano hit his first of the season for New York, which was trying for its first 3-0 start since 2003. The teams combined for seven home runs — five to right field — on a day the flags above the lights were blowing out toward right.
"You can't sleep with these guys," Cabrera said. "We score runs, they score runs back so you got to play perfect with these guys."
Max Scherzer outlasted Phil Hughes (0-1) in a matchup of young stars with neither getting a perfect inning in their season debuts. Scherzer (1-0) gave up six runs and nine hits in five innings — after allowing 20 earned runs in 17 1/3 innings this spring. The first of only two 1-2-3 innings didn't come until Detroit reliever Phil Coke retired three in a row in the sixth.
Jose Valverde pitched the ninth and retired Posada with a popup to center with a runner on for his first save.
Cabrera kicked off a game of long-ball derby in the first by lining a 1-2 pitch from Hughes over a section of seats and into the bleachers in left field for a 2-0 lead. He hit a drive a little farther in the third inning for his 19th career multihomer game. Cabrera's previous multihomer game came at Yankee Stadium last Aug. 18.
"I felt good," Cabrera said. "With the wind they felt better."
Cabrera enjoys facing the Yankees. He had at least one hit in all three games in this series and has hit safely in 25 of 26 games against New York.
Hughes tied for the major league lead for homers allowed at home last year with 20.
Ahead of Cabrera's second homer, Boesch lined an RBI single after Austin Jackson led off the inning with a walk and stolen base.
But Scherzer couldn't keep the ball in the park in the bottom half. Teixeria and Robinson Cano connected around a strike out for Alex Rodriguez. Don Kelly leaped at the wall in the short right field both times but came up empty, and the Yankees pulled to 5-4.
"It's what it is, there's nothing I can do," Scherzer said about Cano's homer that just cleared the fence near the 314-foot sign. "Even though it's not the best outing, it still feels pretty good."
Posada had made it 2-all in the second with a drive into the second-deck in right field for his first homer in his new role as the Yankees' full-time designated hitter. He connected for another two-run shot in the fifth pull New York to 7-6.
Bartolo Colon relieved Hughes after the fourth for his first appearance in the big leagues since July 24, 2009, with the Chicago White Sox against Detroit. A surprise success story in spring training, Colon won the long reliever role in the Yankees' bullpen.
He gave up a hit to his first batter, Ramon Santiago. Boesch followed with the fourth homer of the day to right for a 7-4 lead.
Colon gave up a run-scoring single to Santiago and a sacrifice fly to Boesch in the sixth before finishing off the Yankees' first 1-2-3 inning in the seventh.
Nick Swisher had an RBI double off the wall in right-center in the bottom half off Coke to make it 9-7.
The Yankees have high expectations for Hughes, their latest homegrown All-Star. After going 18-8 last season, he's moved up from the No. 5 spot in the rotation to third and he was given retired Andy Pettitte's old locker in the New York clubhouse.
But Hughes allowed five runs and five hits in four innings. He threw 90 pitches.
"Two bad pitches, Cabrera, four runs," Hughes said. "Just bad location overall."
NOTES: Boesch became first Tiger since Dmitri Young on April 4, 2005, to have at least four hits, four runs and four RBIs in a game. ... Leyland said about Ordonez's ankle: "It doesn't seem to be anything serious, which is what we thought." ... Posada's previous multihomer game was on Sept. 1, 2009, at Baltimore. ... The Tigers got just their second win at new Yankee Stadium. They were 1-6 entering this season. Scherzer earned the win.