Published October 14, 2012
| Sports Network
Bronx, NY – Anibal Sanchez tossed seven brilliant innings and the Detroit Tigers beat the Derek Jeter-less New York Yankees, 3-0, on Sunday to take a 2-0 lead in the American League Championship Series.
Miguel Cabrera, Avisail Garcia and Delmon Young had an RBI apiece for the Tigers, who won 6-4 in 12 innings in Game 1 on Saturday night.
Sanchez (1-1) gave up just three hits while striking out seven and walking three for Detroit. Phil Coke tossed two scoreless innings of relief.
Hiroki Kuroda (0-1), who was perfect through five innings, allowed three runs on five hits over 7 2/3 innings for the Yankees, who had just four hits. The right-hander struck out 11 and walked zero.
"I thought both starting pitchers were absolutely terrific," Tigers manager Jim Leyland said. "I haven't seen that much of Kuroda. I thought he was terrific, and Sanchez was matching him inning for inning. Not a hit through five I guess it was."
The Yankees played a postseason game without either Mariano Rivera or Jeter on the roster for the first time since Oct. 28, 1981 (Game 6 of the World Series). Jeter fractured his ankle in Game 1 and will miss the rest of the postseason, while Rivera was lost in May to a torn ACL.
New York manager Joe Girardi celebrated his 48th birthday with an ejection. Girardi was unhappy with what appeared to be a missed call by second base umpire Jeff Nelson in the eighth inning. The Tigers went on to score two insurance runs in the frame.
Game 3 will take place on Tuesday in Detroit.
The Tigers broke a scoreless tie in the seventh. Quintin Berry led off with a ground-rule double to center, advanced to third on Cabrera's single to right and scored when Young grounded into a fielder's choice. Young hit a grounder to Jayson Nix and the shortstop went to second with the throw in hopes of starting a double play. Robinson Cano lost control of the ball while trying to move it from his glove to his hand.
Detroit tacked on two more runs in the eighth. With two outs, Omar Infante and Austin Jackson hit back-to-back singles. Infante ran past second on Jackson's single to right. Nick Swisher threw to second and Cano appeared to tag Infante on the chest sliding back. Nelson called Infante safe and Girardi came out to argue the call to no avail.
"Yeah, it's frustrating," Girardi said. "I don't have a problem with Jeff's effort, I don't, because he hustled to get to the play. But in this day and age when we have instant replay available to us, it's got to change. These guys are under tremendous amounts of pressure. It is a tough call for him because the tag is underneath and it's hard for him to see. And it takes more time to argue and get upset than you get the call right. Too much is at stake."
The inning continued and pinch-hitter Garcia knocked in a run with a bloop single to right off reliever Boone Logan. Girardi then got into a heated discussion with Nelson and was tossed while Joba Chamberlain came in from the bullpen. Cabrera followed with an RBI single to right to make it 3-0.
The Tigers decided to stick with Coke in the ninth. Leyland had announced earlier Sunday that Jose Valverde would not be the closer in Game 2. Valverde blew the save in Game 1.
Raul Ibanez, who hit a game-tying two-run homer in the ninth inning on Saturday, led off for the Yankees in their last at-bat. This time around, Ibanez struck out swinging. Russell Martin also struck out swinging prior to Alex Rodriguez's single. Curtis Granderson went down swinging to end the game.
New York's best chance to score early on came in the first inning. With men on first and second and two outs, Martin grounded out.
Meanwhile, Kuroda struck out eight batters through the first five frames. Jhonny Peralta ended Kuroda's bid for a perfect game in the sixth with a leadoff single up the middle.
The Yankees failed to score after putting men on the corners with two outs in the home sixth. Martin grounded out to end the inning.
The Tigers are the 23rd team in LCS history (AL and NL) to take a 2-0 series lead since the advent of the best-of-seven format in 1985, and all but three of the previous 22 have advanced to the World Series ... Kuroda made a start on short rest (three days or less) for the first time in his career. His 11 strikeouts matched the third-most by a pitcher in Yankees postseason history ... Cabrera has now reached base safely in all 18 career postseason games with the Tigers. His streak is tied for the longest in franchise history, as Hall of Famer Hank Greenberg had an 18-game streak from Oct. 3, 1934 to Oct. 4, 1945 ... The Yankees replaced Jeter with infielder Eduardo Nunez on their ALCS roster ... New York went 0-for-5 with runners in scoring position stranded seven.