DETROIT – Justin Verlander retired 18 of the first 19 New York Yankees he faced and Delmon Young hit a solo homer as the Detroit Tigers took a 2-0 lead through six innings in Game 3 of the AL championship series Tuesday night.
Detroit is trying to take a 3-0 lead in the best-of-seven series.
The Tigers will host Game 4 on Wednesday night.
New York's Alex Rodriguez and Nick Swisher were benched by a team trying to snap an offensive funk. Eric Chavez replaced Rodriguez at third base and Brett Gardner led off and played left field, his first start since April 17.
New York starter Phil Hughes left the game after pitching three-plus innings with a stiff back after giving up Young's homer, walking Andy Dirks and throwing two strikes to Jhonny Peralta.
Rookie right-hander David Phelps replaced Hughes, getting plenty of time to warm up while the Yankees left their positions in the field. Phelps left two runners stranded in the fourth, leading to Detroit leaving 10 on base through six innings.
But in the fifth, Quintin Berry reached on an error by Chavez to open the inning. Triple Crown winner Miguel Cabrera lined a double to right-center, scoring Berry and knocking out Phelps, who was relieved by Clay Rapada.
Yankees shortstop Eduardo Nunez made a diving stop on Dirks' hard grounder up the middle and flipped the ball to second baseman Robinson Cano for a forceout, keeping Cabrera at third base with two outs. Cody Eppley, New York's fourth pitcher of the game, entered and got Peralta to fly out to strand two runners.
Cabrera had a chance to break the game open with one out and the bases loaded in the sixth, but he hit into an inning-ending double play on the first pitch he saw from Boone Logan.
Young led off the fourth with a liner over the wall in left field, extending his franchise record with seven postseason homers as a Tiger. The designated hitter has five homers in an eight-game span against the Yankees during this and the last year's postseason. Young's older brother, Dmitri, a former Tiger, was in the stands behind home plate.
The Tigers had two runners in the first and third innings, but Hughes prevented them from taking an early lead. Hughes gave up three hits, one run, three walks and struck out one.
Verlander extended the rotation's streak of not giving up an earned run in this postseason to 35 innings. Only the 1905 New York Giants' starting pitchers, who went 44 innings without giving up an earned run, had a better run in one postseason, according to STATS LLC.
The reigning AL MVP and Cy Young award winner didn't allow a Yankee to get on base until Ichiro Suzuki hit a one-out single in the fourth inning.