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Monroe's three-run homer gives Tigers split

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
  •  

NEW YORK -- With Detroit one out from getting swept in a doubleheader by the New York Yankees, Craig Monroe gave the Tigers another of the comeback wins that have defined their season.

Monroe's three-run homer off Scott Proctor with two outs in the ninth lifted the Tigers to a 5-3 victory Wednesday night, preventing Detroit's dwindling lead in the AL Central from getting sliced to 3½ games.

"Let's be honest, that was a big win," Monroe said.

Chien-Ming Wang tied Toronto's Roy Halladay and Jon Garland of the Chicago White Sox for the major league lead with his 16th win in the day game, combining on a four-hitter in a 2-0 victory. And New York had rallied from a two-run deficit in the nightcap.

But with Mariano Rivera unavailable after finishing the day game and Yankees manager Joe Torre unwilling to test Kyle Farnsworth's achy back, New York brought in Proctor for the ninth.

Seeking his first major league save, Proctor (5-4) walked Brandon Inge with one out. After fouling off a pair of 3-2 pitches with two outs, Curtis Granderson took ball four. Monroe turned on the next pitch, a weak slider, and drove it to left-center for his 23rd homer. It was his 10th homer from the seventh inning on with the lead or deficit two runs or less.

"We've been doing it all year," Tigers manager Jim Leyland said. "We have a good team. We're not a fluke."

Detroit won for the seventh time this year when trailing after eight innings, and the home run made Marilyn Monroe very happy. Craig's mother, who lives in Texarkana, Texas, was visiting New York for the first time, and he was disappointed he had gone 0-for-4 in the opener.

"Just to see the excitement on her face," he said.

As the ball sailed high over him, Derek Jeter didn't even turn around at shortstop. He just dropped his head between his legs and swiped the infield dirt with his hands.

"I need to attack guys better, do what I've been doing all year. It's just embarrassing," said Proctor, who had thrown one pitch in the opener. "You just can't walk guys."

Farnsworth felt a twinge in his back between games, a problem he's had a few times this year, and had a wrap around his waist after the nightcap.

"I thought I could have gone out there today, but Joe thought otherwise," he said.

Torre spoke to Farnsworth just before the second game began.

"I said, 'How you doing?' He says, 'OK.' That wasn't good enough for me," Torre said.

Torre refused to use Rivera, who threw 14 pitches in the opener.

"I have to look at the big picture," Torre said. "This game isn't an October game. That's when you throw the rules out the window. We've got to take as good a care of him as we can."

Jason Grilli (2-2) retired one batter for the win, and Todd Jones finished for his 35th save in 38 chances.

Still, New York boosted its AL East lead to eight games over second-place Boston, its largest division margin since August 2004.

Detroit, which has lost eight of 12, has a 4½-game lead over second-place Chicago, down from a 10-game division advantage on Aug. 8.

Yankees starter Jaret Wright struck out five and walked one in a season-high 6 1/3 innings, allowing Carlos Guillen's second-inning homer and Sean Casey's fourth-inning RBI single.

Wilfredo Ledezma made his second start of the season and extended his scoreless streak to 22 innings before the sixth. He left with two on, and Jeter pulled a two-run double down the left-field line against Fernando Rodney, then scored on a roller to third by Alex Rodriguez.

A-Rod was booed several times as he went 0-for-7 in the doubleheader, leaving him with one hit in 24 at-bats. After Granderson caught up with his drive to deep right-center in the fifth inning of the opener, A-Rod bounced his helmet off the infield dirt just past first base.

Notes

  • The opener drew a turnstile attendance of 18,167 out of 52,585 tickets sold.
  • Yankees INF Andy Phillips, on the disabled list since Aug. 18 with a strained ribcage, is likely to make a minor league rehab appearance later this week.
  • LHP Andrew Miller, selected by Detroit with the sixth pick of June's amateur draft, made his major league debut with a hitless eighth in the opener after pitching just five innings in the minors.
 
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
 
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Craig Monroe watches his 23rd dinger of the season sail into the Yankee Stadium stands.  (AP)
Craig Monroe watches his 23rd dinger of the season sail into the Yankee Stadium stands. (AP)

Players of the Game
New York

D. Jeter
AB 3
R 1
H 1
HR 0
RBI 2
Detroit

C. Monroe
AB 5
R 1
H 2
HR 1
RBI 3
 
Detroit Tigers
Curtis Granderson, CF3110202 .262
Craig Monroe, LF5123012 .273
Dmitri Young, DH5000022 .250
Magglio Ordonez, RF3110101 .288
Carlos Guillen, SS4111023 .311
Sean Casey, 1B4021002 .294
Neifi Perez, 2B4010001 .245
Brandon Inge, 3B3110110 .248
Vance Wilson, C2000020 .263
   a- Ivan Rodriguez, PH-C2000001 .297
Totals355954814 
a-grounded out for V. Wilson in the 7th
Batting
2B - Craig Monroe (29, Bruney), Magglio Ordonez (27, Wright)
HR - Craig Monroe (23, Proctor), Carlos Guillen (16, Wright)
RBI - Craig Monroe 3 (74), Carlos Guillen (72), Sean Casey (48)
2-OUT RBI - Craig Monroe 3 (29), Sean Casey (11)
Team LOB - 7
Detroit Tigers
Wil Ledezma 5.1222120 2.27
Fernando Rodney (BS,3) 1.2111110 3.20
Jamie Walker 0.2000110 1.46
Jason Grilli (W,2-2) 0.1000000 3.56
Todd Jones (S,35) 1000000 4.35
IBB - Giambi by Fernando Rodney
HBP - Fasano (by Wil Ledezma), Guiel (by Fernando Rodney)
Pitches-Strikes - Wil Ledezma 68-41, Fernando Rodney 30-17, Jamie Walker 15-7, Jason Grilli 1-1, Todd Jones 11-10
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Wil Ledezma 8-6, Fernando Rodney 2-2, Todd Jones 1-2
Batters Faced - Wil Ledezma 20, Fernando Rodney 8, Jamie Walker 3, Jason Grilli 1, Todd Jones 3
New York Yankees
Johnny Damon, CF4000013 .297
Melky Cabrera, LF3110100 .285
Derek Jeter, SS3112101 .339
Jason Giambi, DH3000122 .260
Alex Rodriguez, 3B4001002 .275
Robinson Cano, 2B4000011 .332
Bernie Williams, RF3000000 .283
    Bobby Abreu, RF1000000 .296
Craig Wilson, 1B2000000 .261
   a- Aaron Guiel, PH-1B1000000 .233
Sal Fasano, C2110001 .225
Totals303333410 
a-hit by pitch for C. Wilson in the 7th
Batting
2B - Melky Cabrera (19, Ledezma), Derek Jeter (31, Rodney), Sal Fasano (11, Ledezma)
RBI - Derek Jeter 2 (83), Alex Rodriguez (94)
SB - Derek Jeter (27, 3rd base off Rodney/V. Wilson), Aaron Guiel (1, 2nd base off Rodney/Rodriguez)
Team LOB - 5
New York Yankees
Jaret Wright 6.1622151 4.62
Brian Bruney (H,1) 0.2200000 1.59
Ron Villone (H,6) 1000120 3.27
Scott Proctor (BS,7; L,5-4) 1133211 3.87
IBB - Ordonez by Ron Villone
Pitches-Strikes - Jaret Wright 85-55, Brian Bruney 17-11, Ron Villone 20-10, Scott Proctor 31-20
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jaret Wright 7-6, Brian Bruney 1-1, Ron Villone 1-0, Scott Proctor 1-1
Batters Faced - Jaret Wright 25, Brian Bruney 4, Ron Villone 4, Scott Proctor 6
Game Information
Attendance - 54509
Game Time - 3:06
Temperature - 73
Umpires - Home - Mike Everitt, First Base - James Hoye, Second Base - Larry Young, Third Base - Chad Fairchild