Everyone was looking for a great game. Everyone got a great game. It just went a little differently than everyone expected. The Detroit Tigers beat the New York Yankees on Monday, 5-4, taking a 2-1 lead in their American League Division Series.
The Yankees got on the board early with Curtis Granderson tripling home Derek Jeter in the first inning, followed by an RBI grounder from Alex Rodriguez to give the Yankees a 2-0 lead. CC Sabathia allowed all sorts of runners over the first three innings, but he didn't give up a run until the third, when Ramon Santiago singled home Brandon Inge.
The Tigers threatened to blow the game open with the bases loaded and no one out, but Miguel Cabrera grounded into an inning-ending double play -- the third induced by Sabathia in the first three innings.
The Inge/Santiago combo struck again in the fifth -- party like it's 2002, people -- with Santiago doubling home Inge to give the Tigers a 3-2 lead. An RBI double from Jhonny Peralta in the sixth stretched the lead to 4-2, and with a dominant Verlander on the mound, the game was over.
That is, until Justin Verlander, with two outs in the seventh, walked Jorge Posada and hit Russell Martin. Brett Gardner laced a double into the gap on a full count, and both runners scored easily to tie the game.
In the bottom of the seventh, though, Delmon Young hit the game-deciding home run off Yankee reliever Rafael Soriano. How predictable. The homer gave the Tigers a 5-4 lead they wouldn't relinquish. Verlander went eight strong innings, walking three and striking out 11 hitters. Jose Valverde pitched the ninth inning for AN EXTREMELY STRESSFUL AND INTENSE save, and the Tigers can eliminate the Yankees Tuesday night in Detroit.