Wednesday, June 19, 2013
The Associated Press
NEW YORK - The Detroit Tigers got a big boost from Anibal Sanchez's arm Sunday. They got a helping hand from an umpire, too.
Phil Coke, of the Tigers, a former Yankees reliever, reacts after fanning Curtis Granderson to save a victory for starter Anibal Sanchez.
The Associated Press
ALCS – GAME 3
WHO: Tigers (Sanchez 4-6) at Yankees (Kuroda 16-11)
WHEN: 4:07 p.m. Tuesday
SERIES: Tigers lead, 2-0
The reward: a commanding 2-0 lead in the AL championship series, and a trip home with their ace ready to start.
Sanchez shut down a Yankees lineup minus injured Derek Jeter, Detroit scored twice after an admitted missed call by an ump and won without any extra-inning drama, 3-0.
"He was terrific," Detroit Manager Jim Leyland said. "This is a tough place to pitch with a tough lineup and a short porch. And a whole bunch of left-handed hitters, it is not easy. That was quite a feat."
New York starter Hiroki Kuroda pitched perfect ball into the sixth inning to keep pace with Sanchez. But Robinson Cano and the slumping Yankees hitters were no match for the 28-year-old right-hander a day after their captain broke his ankle in the 12th inning of a 6-4 loss.
"I try to think backwards," Sanchez said. "If the count calls for a fastball, I throw a different pitch. If the count calls for a different pitch, I throw a fastball."
To get out of a jam in the first inning, he thought backward, all right: try reaching around his back to snare a grounder for the final out.
Making his second postseason start, Sanchez threw three-hit ball deep into the game.
Delmon Young gave Sanchez his first run of support in these playoffs with a fielder's choice in the seventh. The Tigers then scored twice in the eighth after second base umpire Jeff Nelson missed a call on a two-out tag at second base. Yankees Manager Joe Girardi argued, and was ejected on his 48th birthday.
"The call was incorrect," Nelson later acknowledged.
The Tigers led 1-0 in the eighth and had Omar Infante on first with two outs. Austin Jackson singled and when Infante took a wide turn at second, right fielder Nick Swisher threw behind him.
Cano made a swipe tag as Infante dove back to second. Cano missed Infante's arm but brushed his body, replays clearly showed. But Nelson called Infante safe.
Cano and Girardi pleaded the call to no avail. Boone Logan replaced Kuroda and gave up an RBI single to pinch hitter Avisail Garcia to make it 2-0.
Miguel Cabrera added a run-scoring single after the ejection.
Jhonny Peralta singled in the sixth to be Detroit's first base-runner of the night. Delmon Young then gave Detroit the lead with a grounder in the seventh, a night after putting the Tigers ahead in the 12th inning with a double.
Former Yankees reliever Phil Coke pitched two innings for the save.