NY loses Jeter, ALCS series openerNEW YORK - The Detroit Tigers survived a four-run New York rally in the ninth to claim a 6-4 win in 12 innings in their playoff opener on Saturday, while the Yankees suffered an even greater blow as captain Derek Jeter was lost to injury.
The 38-year-old Jeter, in the midst of one his best seasons, broke his left ankle diving for a ground ball during Detroit’s game-winning rally and will be lost for the rest of the postseason, the team said.
The victory gave Detroit a 1-0 lead in the best-of-seven American League Championship Series.
Delmon Young doubled under the glove of diving Yankee right-fielder Nick Swisher to score Miguel Cabrera in the 12th for the go-ahead run, with Detroit adding another in the inning as the Tigers drew first blood in the series that puts the winner in the World Series.
Detroit led 4-0 going into the bottom of the ninth before New York bats came alive against Tigers closer Jose Valverde. Two run homers by Ichiro Suzuki and Raul Ibanez set the game into extra innings.
“We have been taking punches all year,” said Tigers manager Jim Leyland. “If we are going to be good enough, we have to be able to take a punch, and we took a big punch. We took a right cross in the ninth inning, but we survived it.”
The Tigers shrugged rallied in the 12th against New York reliever David Phelps, the eighth Yankee pitcher, while Octavio Dotel shut down the New York and Drew Smyly got the win,
Young led the offensive charge for Detroit, going three-for-six with three runs batted in dealing New York a painful loss.
“It’s pretty emotional,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi said about the high of Ibanez’s game-tying home run and the low of Jeter’s season-ending injury during Detroit’s winning rally.
“There is disappointment that we didn’t win the game. There is disappointment that our captain and our leader went down for the rest of the year,” he added.
“But we’ve been through some disappointing times before .?.?. we’ve only played one game and we have an opportunity to do something great.”
Detroit starter Doug Fister played the role of magician early in the game as he made a trio of bases-loaded jams disappear in holding the Yankees scoreless.
Fister dodged danger in the first and second innings with three runners on and two outs, and then escaped a bases loaded one-out threat in the sixth.
Shortstop Jhonny Peralta rescued Fister with sparkling plays in the first and second innings and the bags full, and Fister extricated himself from the sixth-inning danger by striking out Curtis Granderson and Russell Martin. Detroit snapped a scoreless tie with two runs in the top of the sixth.