After snapping the Detroit Tigers' 12-game winning streak, the Yankees look to win consecutive games for the first time in almost a month Saturday in the Bronx.
Mariano Rivera blew a second save in as many games when Miguel Cabrera hit a tying two-run, two-out homer in the ninth Friday, but Brett Gardner's single helped New York (58-56) end a four-game slide with a 4-3, 10-inning win.
''It was just one heck of a game, it really was,'' Tigers manager Jim Leyland said. ''Terrific game.''
The Yankees, 7-14 since winning three in a row July 10-12, are 10 games back in the AL East and in the middle of the wild-card pack.
"Well, I hope it jump-starts it a lot,'' Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "We need to win series. We need to win a lot of games moving forward.''
New York is 1-3 since Rodriguez made his season debut following a hip injury.
In the process of appealing his 211-game drug suspension, Rodriguez went 0 for 4 with three strikeouts in his home debut and was greeted often with loud boos throughout the night. He's 3 for 15 with no RBIs and has fanned five times.
"Alex has had to deal with stuff before," Girardi said. "He's been booed before. He knows what he has to do and I expect him to do it.
"It's something he has to be able to put out of his mind and just be a player for us."
Detroit (68-46) lost for the second time in 18 games but might have a good chance to bounce back against scheduled New York starter Phil Hughes (4-10, 4.87 ERA), who is 0-3 with a 6.08 ERA in his last five starts.
The right-hander has allowed five runs in each of the last two starts, during which he's yielded 15 hits and five walks in 6 2-3 innings. He gave up six of those hits and walked three in 2 2-3 frames of a 6-3 loss at San Diego on Sunday.
"It's been like a nightmare I can't wake up from," Hughes told the Yankees' official website. "It's like a battle every time, even if I have a good start. It's not easy."
Since throwing a four-hitter in a 5-1 victory at Detroit on June 3, 2012, Hughes is 0-3 with a 6.35 ERA against the Tigers - including a loss in Game 3 of last year's ALCS. He allowed four runs and eight hits in four innings of an 8-4 loss at Comerica Park on April 6.
Detroit counters with Anibal Sanchez (9-7, 2.58), who allowed three hits and struck out seven in seven innings of the Tigers' 3-0 win in Game 2 to improve to 2-1 with a 4.02 ERA in three starts versus the Yankees.
The right-hander has allowed four runs in 26 2-3 innings while going 2-1 in his last four starts overall. He gave up two of those runs while striking out 11 in 7 2-3 innings and not factoring in the decision of Detroit's comeback 4-2 win at Cleveland on Monday.
Cabrera has two homers and nine of his major league-leading 108 RBIs in the last four contests.
Including the postseason, Cabrera has hit .340 with 11 homers and 29 RBIs in 28 games in the Bronx. He's 12 for 26 (.462) with four homers and three doubles against Hughes.