10-run seventh inning helps Yanks stop skid
Nothing in Jim Leyland's 46 years in professional baseball prepared him for Tuesday night.
Leyland's Detroit Tigers were in a scoreless duel with the New York Yankees through six innings. New York then scored 10 runs in the seventh en route to an 11-0 victory.
"I've never seen anything like that in my life," the 64-year-old Leyland said. "You are 0-0 through six, and then it is 10-0? That's not something I ever remember."
Leyland wasn't having a memory lapse - according to the Elias Sports Bureau, no team had broken up a scoreless tie after the sixth with a 10-run inning since the Cincinnati Reds scored 10 in the top of the 13th against the Brooklyn Dodgers on May 15, 1919.
New York, which ended a four-game losing streak, sent 14 batters to the plate against three pitchers in the 56-pitch, 40-minute inning.
"That was great," said Jose Molina, who had a sacrifice bunt and a grand slam in the inning. "I was just doing what the manager wanted me to do."
New York's Phil Hughes, making his first start after being called up from Class AAA Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, and Edwin Jackson dueled through six innings.
"He looked really good," said Yankees manager Joe Girardi, who said he took Hughes out because of the length of the New York seventh. "He had his legs under him tonight."
Hughes, who replaced the injured Chien-Ming Wang in the rotation, allowed two hits in his first win since 2007.
"I feel like I'm back to where I was a couple years ago," Hughes said. "I just wanted to pitch well and earn another shot."
Nick Swisher led off the seventh against Ryan Perry (0-1) with a single and Melky Cabrera walked. After Molina's sacrifice, pinch-hitter Jorge Posada lifted what looked like a routine fly ball to left.
Anderson held back on the ball, positioning himself for a throw, but he misjudged the trajectory and tried to make a hurried, low catch. He missed the ball for a two-base, two-run error.
"I was trying to get some momentum, even on a shallow-hit ball," he said. "I saw the ball the whole way, but I hesitated, and the ball dove hard toward the ground."
Derek Jeter then walked and Johnny Damon blooped an RBI single to center off Nate Robertson. Mark Teixeira popped out, but Hideki Matsui and Robinson Cano made it 5-0 with RBI singles.
Swisher walked to load the bases, and Cabrera walked for the second time in the inning to force in the sixth run. Molina hit a grand slam on the next pitch, about a half-hour after his successful sacrifice.
"That's not something you are going to see very often in one inning," Girardi said.
Swisher led off the ninth with a long homer to right-center. Detroit's pitchers threw exactly 200 pitches in the game.
"Jackson was tremendous, but we had a young pitcher out there in Perry and he had a rough night," Leyland said. "That's going to happen, but we didn't do the job of shutting the floodgates behind him."
Cano battled Jackson for 12 pitches before reaching on a bad-hop infield single in the fourth, and went 10 pitches before striking out in the sixth. ... Yankees 3B Alex Rodriguez slid and hit off two rehabbing pitchers during a simulated game in Tampa. He is expected to join the team on May 15. Girardi says he wants to make sure Rodriguez can play every day when he returns. ... Wang, who has weakness in the abductor muscles in his hips, threw 50 pitches in Tampa and Girardi said he felt good. ... The Yankees optioned RP Steven Jackson to Triple-A to make room for Hughes, while the Tigers sent down 1B Jeff Larish and recalled RP Clay Rapada from Triple-A Toledo.