Curtis Granderson responded in a big way after being dropped the sixth spot in the lineup last night. The Yankees center fielder went 3-for-5 with his 30th home run of the season and 4 RBI. (Image: Rick Osentoski-US PRESSWIRE)

Yankees swing big sticks, hold off Tigers 12-8

The New York Yankees ended a two-game losing streak by rapping out 18 hits in a 12-8 victory over the Detroit Tigers. The Yanks took what should have been a comfortable lead, almost coughed it up and then pulled away in the end.

There was plenty of uproar during the first two games of this series from Yankees fans where it concerned Curtis Granderson‘s position in the lineup. Manager Joe Girardi had him in the leadoff spot in those games, where he went 0-for-10 with five strikeouts. When a team is losing it doesn’t take much to rile up fans, so this became an instant rallying point and Granderson’s performance added fuel to the fire. Well, Girardi dropped him all the way down to sixth in last night’s lineup and Granderson responded in a big way.

Granderson went 3-for-5 with a single, double and his 30th home run of the season. He drove in four runs and scored two. Granderson led an attack which saw every batter who came to the plate record at least one hit.

The Yankees once again jumped ahead and scored the first seven runs of the game highlighted by Granderson’s three-run homer off newly acquired Tigers starter Anibal Sanchez. CC Sabathia was having a fairly easy time holding it up through the first six innings allowing three runs on a fourth inning RBI-single by Brennan Boesch and a two-run single by Jeff Baker.

With an 8-3 lead heading to the bottom of the seventh, the road to victory got bumpy. Sabathia allowed a leadoff single and then with one out an error by third baseman Casey McGehee put runners at the corners. Sabathia got Prince Fielder to ground into a force play for the second out, but a runner scored bringing the Tigers within four. Then, after only 94 pitches, Sabathia was removed from the game in favor of David Robertson with Delmon Young coming to the plate.

Robertson could not the final out of the inning before allowing four straight singles and three more runs to cross. All of the sudden the Yankees’ lead was just one.

But the Yankees offense, which has shown plenty of fight since the last inning of Tuesday night’s loss, answered right back with two runs in the top of the eighth on a Mark Teixeira RBI-single and a run producing ground out by Eric Chavez. Robertson and Boone Logan got through the eighth, but not before Robertson allowed one more run on a solo homer by Omar Infante.

The Yanks would add two more runs in the top of the ninth to provide Rafael Soriano with a four-run cushion. Soriano, pitching in a non-save opportunity, didn’t allow for any theatrics by striking out two of the three batters he faced in a perfect ninth.

The Yankees (64-46) maintain a 4 1/2 game lead over the Baltimore Orioles in the American League East. The Tigers (60-51) remain 1/2 game behind the Chicago White Sox in the AL Central.

In this afternoon’s series finale, the Yankees pin their hopes of salvaging a split on Hiroki Kuroda (10-8, 3.19 ERA) who pitched well in his last start, but was out-dueled by Felix Hernandez of the Seattle Mariners. Kuroda will have a stiff test again today, not just because of the potent Tigers offense but he’ll be facing the Tigers hottest pitcher, Doug Fister. The right-handed Fister (6-7, 3.52) has been fantastic since the All-Star break going 4-1 with a 1.62 ERA in five starts.

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Tags: Anibal Sanchez Boone Logan Brennan Boesch Casey McGehee CC Sabathia Curtis Granderson David Robertson Delmon Young Detroit Tigers Doug Fister Eric Chavez Felix Hernandez Hiroki Kuroda Joe Girardi Mark Teixeira New York Yankees Prince Fielder Rafael Soriano Yankees

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