The New York Yankees are heading into an offseason filled with questions.
Joaquin Benoit escaped a bases-loaded jam in the seventh inning with minimal damage and then came within a few feet of giving up a Derek Jeter go-ahead homer in the eighth, but the Tigers held on for a 3-2 win over the Yankees in the decisive fifth game of their American League Division Series.
The Tigers will face Texas Saturday night in the opener of the ALCS in Arlington. Justin Verlander will start Game 1 for Detroit against the Rangers' C.J. Wilson.
The Yankees, owners of an AL-best 97 regular season victories, were sent home early in the playoffs for a second straight year, losing to Texas in the ALCS in 2010.
Robinson Cano homered for the AL East champions, who were beaten by the Tigers in a first-round series for the second time in six years. Detroit won in four games in the 2006 ALDS, then swept Oakland before losing to St. Louis in the World Series.
Although Young set a franchise record with three home runs during the ALDS, the most-ever for a Tigers player in a single postseason series, his status is in question moving forward. Young departed the game prior to the bottom of the seventh inning due to a mild left oblique strain.
Rodriguez, who went hitless in four at-bats Thursday, struggled to a 2-for-18 performance in this ALDS. He struck out looking to end last year's ALCS.
Doug Fister (1-1) limited the Yankees to five hits and a run over five innings. Max Scherzer threw 1 1/3 innings, but was charged with the run in the seventh, what turned out to be a bases-loaded walk by Benoit to Mark Teixeira.
Brett Gardner singled to left with two outs in the eighth. Jeter then sent a fly ball nearly to the wall in right, but Kelly made the catch.
Curtis Granderson flied out to left leading off the bottom of the ninth, Cano hit a broken bat liner to center, and Rodriguez then swung through a 4-seam fastball to end New York's season.
It may have been the final game for Jorge Posada in a Yankee uniform. He was in the final season of a four-year, $52.4 million contract. He had a pair of hits.
The critical inning of Game 5 was the bottom of the seventh. Jeter legged out an infield hit with one out. Benoit then came into the game, but was ordered to remove a bandage from his face before pitching. Granderson singled to right and then Cano tapped a ball toward the mound on the third base side. Benoit misplayed the bounce, as the ball went under his glove for another infield hit. Rodriguez then fanned on a change-up low and inside. Teixeira walked on a ball that was slightly outside, but Benoit kept the Tigers ahead when Nick Swisher swung through a fastball to complete the inning.