Derek Jeter had his 15-game hitting streak snapped, but his savvy baserunning lifted the New York Yankees past the Detroit Tigers, 7-6, on Friday in a rematch of last year's ALDS.
With the score tied 6-6 heading into the bottom of the ninth inning, Jeter, who went 0-for-4, drew a one-out walk. On the final pitch of Curtis Granderson's at-bat, also a walk, Jeter advanced all the way to third on Brayan Villarreal's (0-1) pitch in the dirt that ricocheted sharply off of Alex Avila's shin pad.
Jeter then came home on a passed ball during Alex Rodriguez's plate appearance to give New York its fifth win in its last seven games.
Rodriguez finished with three hits, including a solo homer, two RBI and a pair of runs scored, while Mariano Rivera (1-1) picked up the win with a 1-2-3 ninth.
"It was nice to start the homestand with a good win, especially being behind twice in that game and being able to come back against a top-notch pitcher like Verlander," remarked Rodriguez. "It's definitely a good sign."
With his run-scoring single in the third, Miguel Cabrera (29 years, nine days) became the sixth youngest player to reach 1,000 RBI in MLB history. Only Mel Ott, Jimmie Foxx, Lou Gehrig, Rodriguez and Ken Griffey Jr. have reached the milestone sooner.
"He's a tremendous young player, there's no question about that," said Detroit manager Jim Leyland about Cabrera. "He'll get another thousand before his career's over. He's that kind of player."
Mired in a 3-for-24 slump, Austin Jackson registered four hits, drove in two runs and scored twice for Detroit, which defeated New York in five games in last year's ALDS.
Justin Verlander allowed five runs -- four earned -- on seven hits in a six- inning start for Detroit.
The Yankees opened the scoring with a run in the first. Granderson slapped a one-out double down the right-field line. Rodriguez plated him after looping a single into shallow right field.
The Tigers, though, went ahead by plating a run in the second and two in the third.
Don Kelly opened the second with a walk and Brad Eldred lined a broken-bat triple past a diving Raul Ibanez in left field to bring him home.
In the third, Jackson and Brennan Boesch opened the frame with back-to-back singles. Cabrera slapped a base hit through the vacated hole on the right side to score Jackson and Prince Fielder followed with a ground-ball single past a diving Jeter to plate Boesch, making it 3-1.
New York got a run back in the fourth on Rodriguez's home run to right field, his fourth of the year, and regained its advantage with a two-run fifth.
Eric Chavez began the inning with a single and Russell Martin smacked an opposite field two-run homer that just cleared the wall in right-center field to make it 4-3.
But the pendulum swung back in Detroit's favor following a three-run sixth. Jhonny Peralta led off the frame with a double down the left-field line and Ryan Raburn followed with a single to put runners on the corners. Jackson then plated them both with a double over the head of Nick Swisher in right field, giving the Tigers a 5-4 lead. Jackson then scored on a single by Fielder.
The Yankees capitalized on an error to tally a run in their half of the sixth. Swisher lined a two-out double to left field and Ibanez followed with a scorcher right at Kelly in left field. But he misjudged the trajectory of the ball and it sailed past his glove as Swisher crossed the plate to make it 6-5.
Mark Teixeira's sacrifice fly to deep center field in the eighth inning tied the game.
Yankees manager Joe Girardi was ejected from the game in the eighth inning for arguing balls and strikes...Ivan Nova gave up six runs on 11 hits and three walks in 5 1/3 innings for New York...Verlander had registered 46 straight quality starts, the longest streak in the league...Jeter's 15-game hitting streak was his longest since a 16-game stretch from May 17-June 2, 2009.