New York at Detroit

W: C. Sabathia (1-1) L: J. Verlander (1-1)
HR: NYY - J. Nix (1)   DET - None

Sabathia solid, Verlander battered around in Yanks' win wire reports

DETROIT -- CC Sabathia did his part to help the New York Yankees close a second straight series with a sweep-avoiding win.

Sabathia pitched seven scoreless innings and Jayson Nix homered off Justin Verlander in the three-run second, lifting New York to a 7-0 victory over the Detroit Tigers on Sunday.

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"You always want to avoid a sweep and finish a series well," Sabathia said. "It felt good to get a win."

Victories have been rare so far this year for the banged-up Yankees.

New York (2-4) needed to beat the Tigers to avoid dropping to its worst six-game record since starting the 1989 season 1-7.

"The only must-win you need is when you're about to be eliminated," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said.

Sabathia (1-1) gave up four hits and three walks while striking out four in 114 pitches, bouncing back from a dreadful opening-day start.

"He's one of the better pitchers in baseball and he showed that," Tigers manager Jim Leyland said.

The Yankees don't have their best players in the lineup because All-Stars Derek Jeter, Alex Rodriguez, Mark Teixeira and Curtis Granderson are on the disabled list, but Leyland said it would be foolish to count them out this season.

"They're missing some pieces, but they're always going to be good," Leyland said. "They'll be right in the thick of things like they always are."

The Yankees got all the run support they needed in the second inning when Francisco Cervelli hit an RBI double and Nix followed with a two-run, two-out homer to give the Yankees a 3-0 lead.

Verlander (1-1) allowed three runs on seven hits and three walks. Verlander said he didn't have a bad game, or inning, but lamented the high, hanging changeup he threw to Nix that ended up over the left field fence.

"Poor pitch selection and poor pitch execution on the same pitch usually doesn't end up too well," he said.

Yankees reliever David Robertson entered the game in the eighth and got out of a two-on, one-out jam by getting Victor Martinez to hit a fly to shallow center and Matt Tuiasosopo to strike out. Mariano Rivera pitched the ninth, drawing some cheers after he was honored in a pregame ceremony for his planned retirement. Rivera gave up two hits and ended the game by striking out Torii Hunter.

The Tigers gave Rivera a plaque with pictures of him pitching in Detroit along with dirt from Comerica Park and Tiger Stadium.

"That was pretty neat," Rivera said.

After losing the first two games in Detroit by a combined score of 16-7, the Yankees put a strong performance together at the plate on the mound and in the field.

"Pitching dictates everything, and CC pretty much dictated the pace," Leyland said.

Detroit had won six straight against the Yankees, including sweeping them in last year's AL championship series. The Tigers advanced to the World Series by roughing up Sabathia in Game 4, scoring six runs -- five earned -- and getting 11 hits off him in just 3 2/3 innings. His first start this year wasn't much better.

Sabathia gave up four runs and eight hits over five innings in a season-opening, 8-2 loss to Boston, and learned from the loss.

"I pitched in a lot more and a lot more effectively," he said.


  • Yankees SS Eduardo Nunez wasn't in the lineup for second straight day after getting hit on his right biceps, but entered the game as a pinch-runner in the eighth inning.
  • The Tigers are off Monday before opening a home series against Toronto on Tuesday afternoon.
  • Yankees RHP Hiroki Kuroda, who bruised his right middle finger in his last start, is scheduled to pitch Monday at Cleveland.
  • The Tigers drew 127,333 fans to three-game series, the largest opening series crowd in Detroit since 1948.
  • New York OF Brennan Boesch received his AL championship ring in the clubhouse Sunday morning.
  • Hunter has five multihit games in his first six with the Tigers.
  • Nix hit his first homer since July 28 of last year.
  • Yankees RHP Joba Chamberlain shaved his moustache, saying it wasn't doing the team any good.
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.
CC Sabathia throws seven scoreless as the Yankees cruise past the Tigers to avoid their worst start since 1989. (Getty Images)
CC Sabathia throws seven scoreless as the Yankees cruise past the Tigers to avoid their worst start since 1989. (Getty Images)

Players of the Game
New York

J. Nix
AB 4
R 2
H 3
HR 1
New York

C. Sabathia
IP 7.0
H 4
ER 0
BB 3
K 4

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New York Yankees
Brett Gardner, CF5110001 .160
Robinson Cano, 2B5010002 .130
Kevin Youkilis, 3B4022101 .409
Travis Hafner, DH4020022 .350
    Eduardo Nunez, PR-DH0100000 .364
   a- Brennan Boesch, PH-DH1000001 .200
Vernon Wells, LF3110212 .294
Ichiro Suzuki, RF4111005 .111
Francisco Cervelli, C4122000 .308
Lyle Overbay, 1B4000013 .211
Jayson Nix, SS4232000 .273
a-popped out for Nunez in the 9th
2B - Kevin Youkilis (4, Verlander), Vernon Wells (1, Coke), Francisco Cervelli (1, Verlander)
HR - Jayson Nix (1, Verlander)
SF - Ichiro Suzuki (1)
RBI - Kevin Youkilis 2 (4), Ichiro Suzuki (1), Francisco Cervelli 2 (5), Jayson Nix 2 (2)
2-OUT RBI - Francisco Cervelli (3), Jayson Nix 2 (2)
Team LOB - 8
New York Yankees
CC Sabathia (W,1-1) 7400340 3.00
David Robertson 1200020 0.00
Mariano Rivera 1200010 4.50
Pitches-Strikes - CC Sabathia 114-68, David Robertson 20-17, Mariano Rivera 21-15
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - CC Sabathia 6-11, Mariano Rivera 1-1
Batters Faced - CC Sabathia 28, David Robertson 5, Mariano Rivera 5
Detroit Tigers
Austin Jackson, CF3000211 .375
Torii Hunter, RF5020014 .393
Miguel Cabrera, 3B4000014 .304
Prince Fielder, 1B4010021 .261
Victor Martinez, DH4000002 .143
Matt Tuiasosopo, LF3020112 .500
Brayan Pena, C4010002 .250
Omar Infante, 2B4010013 .389
Ramon Santiago, SS4010000 .125
DP - Infante-Santiago-Fielder
Detroit Tigers
Justin Verlander (L,1-1) 7.1733241 2.19
Phil Coke 0.2322000 16.20
Octavio Dotel 1322100 10.80
Pitches-Strikes - Justin Verlander 111-79, Phil Coke 16-10, Octavio Dotel 31-21
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Justin Verlander 7-10, Octavio Dotel 1-2
Batters Faced - Justin Verlander 30, Phil Coke 5, Octavio Dotel 7
Game Information
Attendance - 39829
Game Time - 3:21
Temperature - 53
Umpires - Home - Brian O'Nora, First Base - Hunter Wendelstedt, Second Base - Al Porter, Third Base - Jerry Layne