Rasner won his second consecutive start since coming up from the minors, Derek Jeter hit his first homer of the season and New York ended a six-game losing streak to the Detroit Tigers with a 5-2 victory Saturday.
After beating Seattle last Sunday, Rasner allowed two runs and four hits in six-plus innings against Detroit's powerful lineup.
"He's been a shot in the arm for us," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "No one says you have to be fancy or overpowering. He's figured out how to use his stuff and he's done it effectively."
Jeter hit a solo shot in the first inning off Jeremy Bonderman, ending his career-long drought of 128 at-bats without a homer to start a season.
"I could really care less," Jeter said with a smile. "I'm just kidding. I wanted at least one."
Rasner (2-0) departed after Magglio Ordonez's leadoff single in the seventh. He walked one -- his first free pass in 12 innings this season.
The right-hander was 4-0 with a 0.87 ERA in five outings at Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre before replacing injured Phil Hughes in New York's rotation. Hughes, Ian Kennedy (now in the minors) and Kei Igawa are winless for the Yankees this year, so Rasner has provided an important boost.
"Every chance I get is a great opportunity and I'm going to do my best to run with it," Rasner said. "I'm not going to strike a lot of guys out, so I can't walk a lot of guys."
"When you get three down and they've got Chamberlain and Mariano coming in, that's not going to work for you very often," Tigers manager Jim Leyland said. "You might get one, but you aren't going to get three too many times."
The Yankees had lost seven of eight against Detroit dating to last season.
"You don't like to lose to the same team over and over," Girardi said. "They've hit us pretty well, but Raz did a nice job against them."
Bonderman (2-4) lasted just four-plus innings in his shortest start of the year, giving up five runs, six hits and four walks. Bonderman has walked 29 batters in 45 innings this season.
"He didn't locate his pitches again," Leyland said. "It looks like he's dragging his arm, which he's done before. His release point isn't right."
Bonderman fell back into his pattern of first-inning struggles, allowing Jeter's homer before walking Melky Cabrera with the bases loaded.
The Tigers pulled to 2-1 in the bottom half on Matt Joyce's first career homer, although Joyce was initially confused when Yankees right fielder Bobby Abreu broke in on the ball.
"I thought I was going to have to start working out more, because I knew I got all of it, and here he's coming in," Joyce said. "Then I heard the crowd start cheering, so I knew it had gone out. He must have lost the ball, but that was strange."
Unfortunately for the Tigers, that was about all they could muster against Rasner.
"We'd never seen him before, which is tough, and he did a nice job against us," Leyland said. "I'm dumb, I guess, because I was really excited about our lineup against this kid."
The Yankees increased the lead to two on Wilson Betemit's RBI double in the fourth, then made it 5-1 with two in the fifth.
- Betemit left after his fourth-inning double with a strained right hamstring and will go on the 15-day disabled list. He will be replaced on the roster by Triple-A infielder Alberto Gonzalez. The Yankees also placed reliever Jonathan Albaladejo (elbow) on the DL and recalled RHP Chris Britton from Triple-A. Britton was sent down Friday to make room for Igawa.
- Rivera has not allowed an earned run in 13 1/3 career innings at Comerica Park.
- Sheffield's RBI was the 1,584th of his career, moving past Al Kaline and into a tie with Harmon Killebrew and Rogers Hornsby for 33rd place.
- The game drew a crowd of 44,580, the second-largest in Comerica Park history behind 44,934 on opening day this season.