Max Scherzer was not wild about his performance.

Scherzer walked a career-high seven while CC Sabathia pitched neatly for eight innings, and the New York Yankees beat Detroit 6-2 on Sunday, the Tigers' eighth loss in 10 games.

"I take pride in not walking guys and that's really what has me frustrated, all those walks," Scherzer said.

Scherzer (1-3) was pulled with the bases loaded and two outs in the fifth inning, having thrown 119 pitches. Still, he only gave up three runs.

"He just didn't have command. We walked too many people," Tigers manager Jim Leyland said. "Major league pitchers are not supposed to do that. Once again, he got his pitch count way up there way too early."

Scherzer's control problems forced Leyland to call on Luke Putkonen to make his major league debut with the bases loaded. He got Curtis Granderson to ground out to second base, then received a bunch of fist bumps when he returned to the dugout.

"To be honest with you, that was the last thing I wanted to do, but sometimes it doesn't want to work out the way you want to," Leyland said. "I was hoping (Scherzer) could get through the inning and I could start the kid in an inning."

The Yankees walked nine times and left 15 on base overall, but won the three-game series.

Detroit again played without Delmon Young, who was arrested on a hate crime harassment charge at his hotel early Friday during which police say he yelled anti-Semitic epithets.

Young was placed on the restricted list Saturday and will be evaluated under baseball's employee assistance program, perhaps as early as Monday. It is not known if he will be at Comerica Park on Monday night when the Tigers host the Kansas City Royals.

Alex Rodriguez drove in two runs to pass Willie Mays on the career RBIs list with 1,904, according to research by the Elias Sports Bureau provided the Yankees, without hitting the ball out of the infield.

Rodriguez singled on a dribbler down the third base line with the bases loaded in the second, the Yankees' only hit in six plate appearances with three men on. Chris Stewart slid under catcher Gerald Laird's tag on Rodriguez's grounder to short in the seventh.

Granderson homered in the fourth inning — barely. He had to stop his trot between second and third to look back for confirmation after center fielder Austin Jackson nearly made a spectacular catch above the wall in right-center.

Granderson also walked with the bases loaded to force in the game's first run in the second.

The Yankees walked nine times and left 15 on base overall, but won the three-game series.

"We were really fortunate to have a shot in that game the way the game was going," Leyland said. "In this ballpark, with a lineup like that, normally that doesn't happen. And it won't happen."

Sabathia (3-0) gave up a double in the first then retired 10 in a row before Prince Fielder, his former teammate at Milwaukee, hit his first home run in the Bronx and third this year overall with two outs in the fourth.

The big lefty had little trouble with the Tigers — all except for Fielder and his nemesis Miguel Cabrera, who hit a long RBI double in the sixth inning to close it to 3-2. Cabrera is 10 for 19 against Sabathia.

"I'm sure he's 10 for 19 against a lot of guys," Sabathia said, calling Cabrera the best right-handed hitter in baseball.

Sabathia struggled early to a 5.27 ERA on a staff with a 6.37 ERA, 29th in majors, entering Sunday. Garcia was dropped from the rotation before Sunday's game and rookie David Phelps may get a start before the expected return of Andy Pettitte in mid-May.

But Sabathia was sharp this time, yielding four hits and striking out eight. He walked two.

With New York's bullpen taxed by Freddy Garcia's 1 2-3 inning start on Saturday, Manager Joe Girardi said before the game, "I would love to get a good seven or eight strong innings out of CC." His ace obliged.

"It just feels good to go out there and give those guys a rest," Sabathia said of a 'pen that had thrown 73 1-3 innings entering the game, third most in the AL. Detroit is second.

Fielder homered to close the score to 2-1 before Granderson matched him in the bottom of the fourth.

With one out, Granderson connected but Jackson made a long run and leaped where the outfield wall meets a fence that separates fans from the New York bullpen in right-center. The former Yankees minor leaguer who was sent to Detroit in the trade for Granderson had the ball in his glove but momentum carried the glove into that fence, knocking the ball loose for Granderson's eighth homer.

"I feel I can make every play that I can get to," Jackson said. "That one is just unfortunate that I couldn't come up with it."

Andruw Jones homered in the eighth. He pinch ran for Nick Swisher in the third after the right fielder left with a tight left hamstring following a walk.

NOTES: The major league record for runners left on base is 20 for a nine-inning game, set by the Yankees in 1956. ... Tigers RHP Doug Fister (left side strain) will make a rehab start Wednesday for Triple-A Toledo. ... Cabrera has hits in 31 of 33 games against Yankees. Brennan Boesch had two hits and has hits in 13 of 15 games against New York.