Published April 02, 2011
NEW YORK – Brad Penny's debut with the Detroit Tigers was a bust right from the beginning.
The burly right-hander fell behind in the first inning and gave up a three-run homer to Mark Teixeira in the second as the New York Yankees built a quick cushion for A.J. Burnett en route to a 10-6 victory Saturday.
"The bottom line is, we just haven't kept them in the ballpark," Tigers manager Jim Leyland said after his team dropped to 0-2. "They've hit them over the fence. There's no defense for that."
Burnett took a steady first step as he aims to bounce back from a wobbly season and Teixeira hit his second three-run homer in two games for the Yankees.
"That was a terrible pitch. Probably the worst pitch I've thrown in, I can't remember," Penny said. "I gave in. I'm down 2-0 in that situation and I gave in and threw it right down the middle."
Victor Martinez hit his first home run for the Tigers, a two-run shot off Luis Ayala in the eighth. Austin Jackson had a solo drive off Burnett in the third.
Rodriguez drove in Jeter with a first-inning double off Penny (0-1) and New York opened a 6-0 advantage after two. Burnett, fighting a nasty head cold, was in control from the start and made it through five effective innings.
"I feel terrible," he said. "I've got a sinus infection, throat infection and I can't hear."
Working quickly and getting ahead, Burnett (1-0) pumped in 93-95 mph fastballs and kept the Tigers off stride with his curve and changeup.
He allowed three runs and five hits, working out of a jam in the fifth, while striking out six and walking one. He fanned four of his first six batters and threw 58 of 86 pitches for strikes.
Detroit opened the fifth with three straight singles, and a run-scoring groundout by Will Rhymes cut it to 6-3. Burnett struck out No. 3 hitter Magglio Ordonez on a breaking ball in the dirt to end the inning, and four relievers took it the rest of the way.
"Just threw everything I could at him," Burnett said. "I really didn't have a lot that last inning."
Martin, coming off a strong Yankees debut in the season-opening win Thursday, drove a 2-2 pitch from left-hander Brad Thomas to left-center with two outs in the fifth, making it 9-3.
Rodriguez homered to center leading off the sixth, a rude welcome for right-hander Brayan Villarreal, who was facing his first big league batter.
"I was just trying to throw a first-pitch strike. I thought the next pitch was a strike but he didn't call it. I got (to) 3-1 and he got me on a fastball in," Villarreal said.
Jeter, who has 2,928 hits, got the Yankees started with a single in their three-run first. He also scored on Teixeira's three-run drive to right in the second.
"That's a real tricky team to pitch against," Leyland said. "They get counts in their favor and they hurt you, but you've got to treat them with respect."
Penny lasted 4 1-3 innings, giving up eight runs, seven hits and four walks. A two-time All-Star, he was limited to nine starts last season with St. Louis because of a back injury.
"He hung in there," Leyland said. "There were a couple of tough plays early in the game that might've been made. Obviously, they would've been real good plays. I want to emphasize, they could have been made, not should have been made."
NOTES: Leyland said he enjoyed his visit Thursday with good friend Yogi Berra, saying the 85-year-old Yankees Hall of Famer is "still sharp." A catcher growing up, Leyland said Berra was his favorite player. "My first catcher's glove was a Yogi Berra model, like all kids do," Leyland said. "Obviously, I didn't get his bat." ... Umpires went inside for a look at the video replay on Robinson Cano's leadoff double off the top of the left-field fence in the fifth and correctly upheld the initial call. ... Detroit acquired RHP Pedro Perez from Boston as the player to be named in the deal that sent INF Brent Dlugach to the Red Sox on Nov. 4. Perez was 8-5 with a 3.94 ERA for Class-A Greenville last year. ... Leyland lifted Ordonez in the sixth. The right fielder hurt his ankle last year. "I'm not saying it was because of the score. He had a little bit of soreness in the ankle and the cold was another factor," Leyland said.