Published April 05, 2013
| Sports Network
Detroit, MI – Prince Fielder hit two home runs and had five RBI and Alex Avila added a solo shot as the Detroit Tigers downed the New York Yankees, 8-3, on Friday in a rematch of the 2012 American League Championship series.
The last time New York played at Comerica Park the Tigers swept the postseason series in four games before San Francisco returned the favor and swept Detroit in the World Series.
"I was just excited to put our team ahead," Fielder said. "Anytime you get some runs for your team, it's always exciting."
Miguel Cabrera had an RBI and scored two runs and Omar Infante finished with two hits, one run scored and an RBI for Detroit, which hasn't lost a home opener since 2008. Starter Doug Fister (1-0) tossed five innings and allowed three runs on six hits while striking out two in his season debut.
Detroit dropped two of three in its season opening series versus Minnesota.
New York starter Ivan Nova (0-1) lasted 4 2/3 innings and gave up four runs on five hits while striking out five batters in defeat. The righty was left off the postseason roster last season after going 12-8 with a 5.02 ERA in 28 starts.
Kevin Youkilis hit a two-run homer and Robinson Cano had one hit and scored a run for the Yankees, who had dropped their first two games to Boston at home before left-handed veteran Andy Pettitte tossed eight solid innings in a 4-2 win Thursday.
Nova threw 70 pitches through the first three innings, though the score was still 2-0 in favor of the Tigers. Making matters worse for the already injury- riddled Yankees lineup, in the top of the fourth, Fister drilled Eduardo Nunez in his right upper chest area and he fell to the ground in pain. Nunez left the game and was replaced by Jayson Nix.
"I feel sad about myself and my teammates, the injuries are coming to this team so fast," Nunez said.
New York finally came alive in the fifth. Brett Gardner reached first base despite hitting into a fielder's choice and Cano hit Fister's curveball through the hole into right field moving the speedy Gardner to third.
A wild pitch then scored Gardner and made it a 2-1 game before Youkilis hammered a 3-1 offering over the left-center wall to give the visitors a 3-2 edge.
Infante led off the bottom of the inning with a bloop single to center and then Austin Jackson walked. Nova looked to get out of the jam by forcing Torii Hunter to ground into a double play. The next batter he faced, Cabrera, was drilled in the hand and Nova was relieved by Boone Logan.
Logan, however, threw an 0-1 pitch to Fielder, who then launched the offer over the right field wall for a three-run homer to make it 5-3 Detroit.
Avila added to Detroit's cause in the sixth with a solo shot to right field which made it 6-3. Fielder hit his second homer of the game -- a two-run shot -- in the seventh to make it 8-3.
"They have a very good lineup, top to bottom," New York manager Joe Girardi said. "They have speed, they have power and they're deep."
Jackson led off the first frame with a single and Hunter poked a line drive to right-center that moved Jackson to third. Cabrera then plated Jackson on a fielder's choice to the short stop to make it a 1-0 game.
Andy Dirks drew a walk to start the bottom of the second and followed by stealing second base. Nova responded by fanning the next two batters he faced. Infante answered by battling for a lengthy at-bat before lining a single up the middle scoring Dirks to make it a 2-0 contest.
The Tigers held a brief ceremony before the game to raise their 2012 American League championship banner ... Nova went 6-4 against Detroit last year with four of the games decided by one run ... Detroit lost six of its 10 regular season meetings to the Yankees last season ... The Tigers are now 61-51-1 in home openers all-time, including an 8-6 mark at Comerica Park ... Fister went 10-10 with a 3.45 earned run average last season over 26 starts ... Detroit reliever Drew Smyly pitched four perfect innings in relief to pick up his first save of the season ... Nunez was diagnosed with a bruised right bicep.