The New York Yankees are outpitching some of baseball’s best pitchers.
Facing the third successive Cy Young recipient in the last three games, the Yankees rode a superior performance from starter Chris Capuano and Adam Warren to a 5-1 victory over Justin Verlander and the Detroit Tigers on Wednesday night, their second win in the series.
Capuano allowed five hits and an unearned run with eight strikeouts in 6 2/3 innings, leaving with the game tied at 1. Warren (2-5) worked out of an eighth-inning jam created by a walk and two errors after the Yankees had taken a 2-1 lead on Brian McCann’s homer in the seventh.
"I’ve seen him do this before and that was one of the reasons we went and got him," manager Joe Girardi said of Capuano, who has gone at least six innings in all three of his starts since being acquired from the Rockies on July 24th. "If I’m not mistaken, he did it to us last year here. He does know how to pitch, and he gave us a great performance tonight."
Chase Headley also homered for the Yankees, whose streak of 16 consecutive games decided by two or fewer runs ended when they broke out for three runs in the eighth against reliever Blaine Hardy.
Mark Teixeira injured his hand when he was spiked by catcher Bryan Holaday while scoring the Yankees’ final run on a slide at home plate. Teixeira, called out by plate umpire Tom Woodring but ruled safe on a review, sustained a deep cut near his left pinky and will not play in Thursday’s matinee finale of the four-game set.
"It (the cut) was pretty bad," said Teixeira, who was replaced at first base in the ninth by Headley. "I took one look and looked away. Steve (trainer Steve Donohue) rushed me up here, we got it cleaned up and got the stitches in there.
"You play hard, that’s what happens. I’m just happy about the win. It was a great team win."
As they did in Tuesday’s 4-3 victory, the Tigers scored in the first inning via the sacrifice fly, with Rajai Davis reaching on Derek Jeter’s error.
That was all Detroit could generate against Capuano, Warren and David Huff, who pitched a perfect ninth.
"He was changing speeds, heights, location," Tigers third baseman Nick Castellanos said about Capuano. "He wasn’t really giving anybody the same looks two times in a row. If he thought you were leaning, kind of diving for that changeup, you’d get a heater in. Both McCann and Capuano had a great night tonight."
Verlander (10-10) retired the first 11 Yankees he faced before surrendering a two-out single to center by Jacoby Ellsbury in the fourth. Headley deposited a 2-2 fastball into the right-field stands with out in the fifth for his ninth homer and second as a Yankee to tie it at 1, and it remained deadlocked until McCann belted his 13th homer on a 1-2 pitch with one out in the seventh.
"I’m not going to dwell on two homers," said Verlander, who allowed five hits and one walk with five strikeouts in seven innings. "Headley’s was gone anywhere. McCann’s probably not in a lot of places, but, overall it was a good game."
The Yankees committed four errors — two by Stephen Drew in just his sixth game at second base — but both Capuano and Warren picked up their fielders with key outs.
Jeter singled in the sixth inning and needs one hit to tie Honus Wagner (3,430) for sixth place on the career all-time list.
Yankees: Michael Pineda, who has missed exactly half the season with a right shoulder muscle injury, will make his second rehab appearance Friday at Scranton. Girardi indicated Pineda’s return might be accelerated. "He’s probably available to go somewhere between 75 to 80 (pitches). Then we’ll see where we’re at," Girardi said.
Tigers: Right fielder Torii Hunter was listed as day to day after being hit on the left hand by Dellin Betanaces’ pitch in the ninth inning Tuesday night. X-rays taken after the game were negative. Hunter said he had a ruptured blood vessel and had a difficult time sleeping last night, but was relieved nothing was broken. "I’d rather deal day to day than have a couple weeks off," he said before Wednesday’s game. "It (the pitch) just backed up. I guess it just slipped out of his hand or something like that and stayed in on me.
That’s baseball. You can’t do anything about that. None of that was intentional."
The Yankees go with rookie right-hander Shane Greene (2-1, 3.68 ERA) in the finale of the four-game set Thursday. Detroit sends right-hander Rick Porcello (13-5, 3.18 ERA to the mound.
FIVE O’CLOCK SHADOW
CC Sabathia, sporting a full beard and walking with the aid of a metal crutch, joined his teammates for the official team photo before Wednesday’s game. The Yankees have a long-standing policy against beards.