Yankees avoid sweep vs. Tigers

Associated Press  |  Last updated April 07, 2013
CC Sabathia pitched seven scoreless innings and Jayson Nix homered off Justin Verlander in the three-run second, lifting the New York Yankees to a 7-0 win over the Detroit Tigers on Sunday. The Yankees (2-4) avoided a sweep and dropping to their worst six-game record since starting the 1989 season 1-7. New York's ace had a lot to do with helping his team get the much-needed win. 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. Verlander (1-1) allowed three runs on seven hits and three walks. 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. 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 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. Phil Coke replaced Verlander with one out and nobody on base in the seventh, and let the Yankees score two more runs - on Ichiro Suzuki's sacrifice fly and Cervelli's single - for a five-run cushion. Kevin Youkilis made it 7-0 with a two-run single off Octavio Dotel. 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. New York has opened the season by winning two series finales to avoid being swept. The Tigers are off to a 3-3 start. 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. NOTES: 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. ... The Tigers gave Rivera a plaque with pictures of him pitching in Detroit along with dirt from Comerica Park and Tiger Stadium.
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