Joba Chamberlain won for the first time in almost a month and the New York Yankees got home runs from Mark Teixeira and Alex Rodriguez in a 2-1 victory over the Detroit Tigers on Sunday, completing a three-game sweep of the AL Central leaders.
The Yankees celebrated Old-Timers’ Day with an excellent pitching performance by one of their youngsters. Chamberlain rebounded from two ineffective starts and New York edged punchless Detroit 2-1 for the second consecutive day.
Chamberlain allowed three hits over 6 2-3 innings in his longest effort since he tossed eight innings in New York’s 5-2 victory at Cleveland on June 1. He struck out eight and walked three as the Yankees pulled within one game of AL East-leading Boston.
It was the right-hander’s first victory since June 24 at Atlanta.
The Tigers got another terrific outing from one of their All-Star pitchers and again came away with nothing to show for it. Edwin Jackson (7-5) nearly matched Chamberlain, yielding two runs and five hits in seven innings.
CC Sabathia beat Justin Verlander 2-1 on Saturday when Rodriguez went deep and Melky Cabrera drove in a run with an infield single in the seventh.
Rodriguez’s homer Saturday landed in the second row in right but there was no doubt about either of the Yankees‘ shots Sunday. Rodriguez hit an 0-1 pitch from Jackson into the Tigers‘ bullpen in left-center in the fourth, tying it at 1, and Teixeira reached the second deck in right on a 3-1 pitch in the sixth.
Detroit had a chance to go in front in the fifth but Chamberlain (5-2) wiggled out of the jam. With runners on first and third, he retired Miguel Cabrera on a popup and struck out Marcus Thames to end the inning.
Chamberlain pumped his fist after Thames swung and missed on a high 97 mph fastball with a full count. The 23-year-old, who had no record and a 6.75 ERA in his previous three starts, retired the last seven batters he faced, five on strikeouts.
Phil Coke got the last out of the seventh and Phil Hughes struck out two in the eighth for New York. Mariano Rivera issued his fourth walk in 40 innings this season before finishing for his 26th save in 27 opportunities and third of the series.
It was the first time since last September that Rivera saved three straight games in three days.
The Yankees held their 63rd annual Old-Timers’ Day before the game, welcoming Mike Mussina, Don Zimmer and six other newcomers for their first one at their new stadium. Several Tigers watched the festivities from the visiting dugout, clapping when Whitey Ford and other former greats were announced.
Detroit grabbed the lead in the fourth when Clete Thomas hit a drive into the right-field bleachers for his sixth homer.
Tigers manager Jim Leyland said he had nothing new to report on injured reliever Joel Zumaya (sore right shoulder). “It’s some discomfort and we’ll just have to play it by ear,” he said. … Yankees OF Johnny Damon rested with a stiff back. … Leyland said Detroit OF Carlos Guillen, on a rehab stint at Class-A Lakeland, has experienced some soreness in his balky right shoulder when he bats from the right side. Leyland wasn’t sure if it would affect the Tigers‘ plans for his rehab.