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Detroit at New York

Scoreboard
Detroit010001002450
N.Y. Yankees «00121020x6140

A-Rod brings fans back on his side, Yankees edge Tigers

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
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NEW YORK -- For Alex Rodriguez, hitting is no big mystery.

"It's a matter of getting a good pitch and putting a good swing on it," Rodriguez said after he had three hits including his 27th home run of the season in the New York Yankees 6-4 victory over Detroit on Thursday. "You have the ability. It's a matter of going out and being assertive with the swing."

So how come A-Rod was 0-for-10 and 1-for-24 going into Thursday's game?

That's the mystery of baseball.

Rodriguez offered some explanation.

"I swung the bat much better," he said. "It's a little of everything. When you swing well, it doesn't matter what they throw. The focus is not on what I do. The focus is on what the team does."

But Rodriguez was the American League MVP last season and the highest paid player in the game. So it's hard to avoid the focus, especially in a season when he has committed 22 errors, gone through long hapless stretches at bat and been the target of repeated booing at Yankee Stadium.

It was a welcome change for him when the sellout crowd demanded a curtain call following his seventh-inning home run and manager Joe Torre nudged him out of the dugout. "I didn't think about it," Rodriguez said. "I haven't had one in awhile."

Before Rodriguez homered, Detroit manager Jim Leyland was ejected by plate umpire James Hoye for complaining on balls and strikes. It was his second ejection this season.

"I didn't like a couple of situations that were called," he said. "But I didn't put on a big show. I was down in the dugout."

After he was ejected, Leyland came on the field, stopped arguing during the singing of God Bless America, and then resumed the argument, with crew chief Larry Young separating him from Hoye.

"In my opinion, the umpire got real trigger happy. I felt there was absolutely no just cause to throw me out of that game," Leyland said.

Randy Johnson (15-10) allowed a pair of early home runs to Magglio Ordonez and Omar Infante -- the only hits he allowed through eight innings. Then a leadoff walk in the ninth followed by Marcus Thames' 24th homer made it close and spoiled Johnson's day.

"I was disappointed about the ninth inning," he said. "That's me."

Johnson struck out eight and walked one. Eight quality innings didn't mean much to him. "I didn't pitch a quality ninth," he said.

After Thames' homer, Mariano Rivera finished for his 33rd save in 36 chances. He gave up a double to Ordonez off the wall in right-center, then retired Carlos Guillen, pinch-hitter Sean Casey and Brandon Inge on groundouts.

Rivera had an MRI exam on his right forearm before the game. The scan showed a mild muscle strain in his right elbow but no structural damage.

After Rodriguez homered in the eighth, Robinson Cano followed with a double and scored on a single by Bernie Williams, who had two RBI.

Bobby Abreu hit a two-out, two-run single that broke a 1-1 tie in the fourth inning, and scored another run on a two-out hit by Rodriguez in the third.

New York, which won five of seven from the Tigers this year, is a season-high eight games over second-place Boston, its largest AL East lead since August 2004. Detroit, which has lost six of eight, nine of 13 and 15 of 22, remained 4½ games ahead of second-place Chicago in the AL Central.

Jeremy Bonderman (11-7) gave up four runs and 11 hits in 5 1/3 innings.

"I'm throwing the ball like I have been," Bonderman said. "They are just finding holes. I feel like there are not too many hard hit balls. Right now, it's not going my way."

Ordonez put the Tigers in front leading off the second with his 18th home run. He had been batting .242 since the All-Star break and had a stretch of 119 at-bats without a homer from July 9 through Aug. 16.

The Yankees tied it in the third on a double by Abreu and a bloop RBI single by Rodriguez.

An inning later, the Yankees loaded the bases with two out on hits by Melky Cabrera and Johnny Damon and a walk to Derek Jeter. Abreu delivered a single, driving in Cabrera and Damon. Rodriguez opened the fifth with a double and scored on a single by Williams for a 4-1 lead.

Infante got that run back for Detroit with a leadoff homer in the sixth, his third of the season.

Notes

  • Jeter extended his hitting streak to 11 games.
  • Ordonez's homer was the 18th of his career against the Yankees and eighth in 32 games at Yankee Stadium.
  • Damon stole his 24th base, Rodriguez his 12th and Jeter his 28th, all against Ivan Rodriguez -- who had not allowed as many as three steals in a game since Sept. 16, 2005, when the Angels swiped four against him.
 
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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 Alex Rodriguez breaks out of his slump, hitting a home run and  going 3-for-4 against Detroit.  (AP)
Alex Rodriguez breaks out of his slump, hitting a home run and going 3-for-4 against Detroit. (AP)

Players of the Game
New York

R. Johnson
IP 8.0
H 4
ER 4
BB 1
K 8
New York

A. Rodriguez
AB 4
R 2
H 3
HR 1
RBI 2
 
Detroit Tigers
Ivan Rodriguez, C4000021 .294
Craig Monroe, DH3100110 .271
Marcus Thames, LF4112010 .270
Magglio Ordonez, RF4121010 .290
Carlos Guillen, 1B4000011 .308
Neifi Perez, SS3000000 .243
   a- Sean Casey, PH1000001 .293
Brandon Inge, 3B3000001 .247
Curtis Granderson, CF3000021 .260
Omar Infante, 2B3121000 .292
Totals32454185 
a-grounded out for Perez in the 9th
Batting
2B - Magglio Ordonez (28, M. Rivera)
HR - Marcus Thames (24, R. Johnson), Magglio Ordonez (18, R. Johnson), Omar Infante (3, R. Johnson)
RBI - Marcus Thames 2 (53), Magglio Ordonez (85), Omar Infante (16)
Team LOB - 3
Fielding
DP - Guillen-Perez, Infante-Perez-Guillen
Detroit Tigers
Jeremy Bonderman (L,11-7) 5.11144350 4.01
Jamie Walker 1.2322001 1.86
Zach Miner 1000120 4.57
Pitches-Strikes - Jeremy Bonderman 103-61, Jamie Walker 24-16, Zach Miner 23-12
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jeremy Bonderman 5-5, Jamie Walker 3-1, Zach Miner 1-0
Batters Faced - Jeremy Bonderman 29, Jamie Walker 7, Zach Miner 4
New York Yankees
Johnny Damon, DH5130011 .300
Derek Jeter, SS2010300 .340
Bobby Abreu, RF5122005 .297
Jorge Posada, C4000116 .268
Alex Rodriguez, 3B4232003 .279
Robinson Cano, 2B4110025 .332
Bernie Williams, CF4022010 .286
Aaron Guiel, 1B4000022 .222
Melky Cabrera, LF4120000 .287
Totals3661464722 
Batting
2B - Bobby Abreu (35, Bonderman), Alex Rodriguez (23, Bonderman), Robinson Cano (29, Walker)
HR - Alex Rodriguez (27, Walker)
RBI - Bobby Abreu 2 (80), Alex Rodriguez 2 (96), Bernie Williams 2 (55)
2-OUT RBI - Bobby Abreu 2 (26), Alex Rodriguez (33)
SB - Johnny Damon (24, 2nd base off Bonderman/Rodriguez), Derek Jeter (28, 2nd base off Miner/Rodriguez), Alex Rodriguez (12, 2nd base off Bonderman/Rodriguez)
Team LOB - 10
New York Yankees
Randy Johnson (W,15-10) 8444183 4.94
Mariano Rivera (S,33) 1100000 1.90
HBP - Inge (by Randy Johnson)
Pitches-Strikes - Randy Johnson 106-76, Mariano Rivera 19-12
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Randy Johnson 5-11, Mariano Rivera 3-0
Batters Faced - Randy Johnson 30, Mariano Rivera 4
Game Information
Attendance - 54771
Game Time - 2:54
Temperature - 67
Umpires - Home - James Hoye, First Base - Larry Young, Second Base - Tom Hallion, Third Base - Mike Everitt