Detroit at New York

N.Y. Yankees
W: J. Bonderman (2-2) L: A. Pettitte (3-3)
HR: DET - M. Thames (2), P. Polanco (1), P. Polanco (2)   NYY - None

Polanco belts two as Tigers have way with Rodriguez-less Yanks wire reports

NEW YORK -- The Detroit Tigers' awful start is becoming a distant memory.

Placido Polanco homered twice and Marcus Thames also went deep to help Detroit beat New York 6-2 Wednesday night in the Yankees' first game with Alex Rodriguez on the disabled list.

Jeremy Bonderman pitched into the eighth inning after getting off to a rough start and Gary Sheffield had two hits for Detroit (13-15), which has won seven of nine. The $139 million Tigers opened the season with seven straight losses.

"Our hitting and pitching is a lot better now," catcher Ivan Rodriguez said.

With Alex Rodriguez sidelined by a strained right quadriceps, slumping New York managed just two hits after the first inning. The Yankees have scored just 15 runs in their last five games.

A-Rod went on the DL for the first time since July 2000 before the game and he got some company later when struggling starter Phil Hughes was placed on the injured list with a strained right oblique muscle. Hughes is 0-4 with a 9.00 ERA in six starts this year.

Longtime catcher Jorge Posada also is on the DL with an ailing throwing shoulder.

"You lose those guys it's going to hurt your team," said Andy Pettitte, who lost his second straight start. "You realize that but it's the same old story. Everybody has injuries and nobody's going to feel sorry for you."

Certainly not the Tigers, who know all about dealing with injuries -- they're missing starter Dontrelle Willis, key relievers Joel Zumaya and Fernando Rodney, and catcher Vance Wilson.

Detroit should get a boost Thursday when reliever Francisco Cruceta comes off the restricted list. The Tigers cleared the way for the right-hander to join the team in New York by trading right-hander Jason Grilli to the Colorado Rockies for minor league pitcher Zachary Simons before Wednesday's game.

Cruceta, who had problems getting a work visa this spring, had a successful stint with Triple-A Toledo and could be a valuable setup man for Detroit manager Jim Leyland.

The Tigers didn't need much bullpen help Wednesday. Bonderman (2-2) allowed Jason Giambi's sacrifice fly and Melky Cabrera's RBI single in the first inning before settling into a groove. He retired 12 straight over one stretch and allowed five hits in a season-best 7 2/3 innings.

"I was able to be aggressive, put those guys on their heels and make them swing early in counts and that got me deep in the game," Bonderman said.

Leyland visited Bonderman after he ran into trouble in the first.

"You don't want to know what I told him, I can tell you that," Leyland said. "He started being more aggressive with his pitching. He started throwing the ball inside better. He started pounding the ball inside better, mixed in some changeups, and that made his night."

Detroit went in front for good in the fifth. Edgar Renteria singled off Pettitte (3-3) with one out and Thames hit the next pitch over the wall in left-center to give the Tigers a 3-2 lead. It was Thames' second homer of the season.

"(Pettitte) had a sinker that actually cut on him a little bit, cut back across the middle of the plate," New York manager Joe Girardi said, "and Marcus Thames hit a two-run homer. The ball does what it's usually going to do you're probably not in that situation."

Polanco hit leadoff homers in the sixth and eighth innings. He went 4-for-5 and scored two runs in Detroit's 6-4 win Tuesday night in the opener of the series matching the teams with the two highest opening-day payrolls in baseball.

Pettitte allowed five runs and seven hits in six innings. He was 5-0 with a 1.93 ERA in his previous five starts against Detroit at Yankee Stadium.

New York has lost five of its last seven.


  • Willis (hyperextended right knee) is scheduled to make his first rehab start with Triple-A Toledo on Friday.
  • Yankees RHP Brian Bruney has decided to rehab his injured right foot instead of opting for season-ending surgery. The club is hoping to get him back in August.
  • The Yankees optioned C Chris Stewart to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre and recalled reliever Chris Britton from their top farm club just one day after they sent him down. They also signed catcher Chad Moeller after designating him for assignment on Friday. Reliever Sean Henn was reinstated from a rehab stint and designated for assignment to make room on the 40-man roster.
  • Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said RHP Darrell Rasner will start Sunday against Seattle in Hughes' spot.
Copyright 2017 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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Placido Polanco's two-homer outing lifts the Tigers to their seventh win in their past nine games.   (AP)
Placido Polanco's two-homer outing lifts the Tigers to their seventh win in their past nine games. (AP)

Players of the Game

P. Polanco
AB 5
R 2
H 2
HR 2

J. Bonderman
IP 7.2
H 5
ER 2
BB 2
K 1

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April 21, 2017
This weekend in baseball: AL Central (1:19)
Detroit Tigers
Ivan Rodriguez, C5000013 .255
Placido Polanco, 2B5222002 .228
Gary Sheffield, DH4120010 .183
Magglio Ordonez, RF3110111 .301
Miguel Cabrera, 1B4010012 .270
Carlos Guillen, 3B3011021 .321
Edgar Renteria, SS4111010 .309
Marcus Thames, LF2112001 .200
    Curtis Granderson, CF1010100 .375
Brandon Inge, CF-LF3000000 .257
2B - Curtis Granderson (3, Ramirez)
HR - Placido Polanco 2 (2, Pettitte, Farnsworth), Marcus Thames (2, Pettitte)
SH - Carlos Guillen (1)
RBI - Placido Polanco 2 (9), Carlos Guillen (12), Edgar Renteria (17), Marcus Thames 2 (5)
2-OUT RBI - Carlos Guillen (6)
SB - Gary Sheffield (3, 2nd base off Farnsworth/Molina)
PK - Carlos Guillen (1, Pettitte)
Team LOB - 5
Detroit Tigers
Jeremy Bonderman (W,2-2) 7.2522210 3.86
Clay Rapada 1.1000010 0.00
Pitches-Strikes - Jeremy Bonderman 100-57, Clay Rapada 16-9
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jeremy Bonderman 11-10, Clay Rapada 3-0
Batters Faced - Jeremy Bonderman 29, Clay Rapada 4
New York Yankees
Johnny Damon, LF3110100 .276
Derek Jeter, SS4110001 .277
Bobby Abreu, RF3000101 .269
Hideki Matsui, DH4010003 .322
Jason Giambi, 1B3001001 .164
Melky Cabrera, CF4021010 .299
Robinson Cano, 2B3000003 .151
Jose Molina, C3000000 .231
Alberto Gonzalez, 3B3000010 .273
2B - Johnny Damon (10, Bonderman)
SF - Jason Giambi (2)
RBI - Jason Giambi (13), Melky Cabrera (12)
2-OUT RBI - Melky Cabrera (6)
CS - Robinson Cano (2, 2nd base by Bonderman/Rodriguez)
Team LOB - 4
DP - Jeter-Cano-Giambi
New York Yankees
Andy Pettitte (L,3-3) 6755132 3.93
LaTroy Hawkins 1000110 7.47
Kyle Farnsworth 1211021 4.05
Edwar Ramirez 1100010 0.00
HBP - Inge (by Edwar Ramirez)
Pitches-Strikes - Andy Pettitte 93-66, LaTroy Hawkins 20-14, Kyle Farnsworth 27-21, Edwar Ramirez 18-14
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Andy Pettitte 12-1, LaTroy Hawkins 2-0, Edwar Ramirez 1-1
Batters Faced - Andy Pettitte 24, LaTroy Hawkins 4, Kyle Farnsworth 5, Edwar Ramirez 5
Game Information
Attendance - 49513
Game Time - 2:48
Temperature - 53
Umpires - Home - Chad Fairchild, First Base - Rick Reed, Second Base - Jeff Kellogg, Third Base - Scott Barry