|Detroit Tigers' Justin Verlander throws in the ninth inning during Game 3 of the American League championship series against the New York Yankees Tuesday, Oct. 16, 2012, in Detroit. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)|
Tigers top Yankees 2-1, need 1 win for pennant
The three-time AL MVP was not available to reporters before or after the game.
Verlander, the reigning AL MVP and Cy Young Award winner, nearly became the first pitcher in 24 years to throw consecutive shutouts in the postseason, according to STATS LLC. Orel Hershiser did it for the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1988, blanking the New York Mets in Game 7 of the NL championship series and the Oakland Athletics in Game 2 of the World Series.
Valverde’s meltdown nearly cost Detroit the first game of this series, but the Tigers were able to win 6-4 in 12 innings. Coke closed out a 3-0 victory in Game 2 and was able to hold on Tuesday in a tense final inning.
Hughes matched Verlander in a scoreless duel until Young led off the Detroit fourth with a line drive over the wall in left field. It was his seventh homer in the last two postseasons — he’s already the Tigers’ career leader in that department.
‘‘I knew I hit it hard enough, but we weren’t in Yankee Stadium, so I had to wait an extra 30 feet for it to land,’’ Young said.
Andy Dirks followed with a walk, and Hughes was pulled with an 0-2 count on Jhonny Peralta. David Phelps came on and got out of the inning, but the Yankees now have a pitching injury to go along with all their hitting problems.
‘‘We will see how he is tomorrow and we'll see what we have tomorrow, which will determine what we do,’’ Girardi said.
Hughes allowed a run and three hits in three-plus innings. He walked three and struck out one.
‘‘It started to tighten up on me in the third. It wasn’t too bad and I was trying to stay in the game but they decided with the way things were going to go to the bullpen,’’ Hughes said. ‘‘I wanted to stay in. It wasn’t so bad that I couldn’t pitch. Joe didn’t want to take any chances.’’
The Yankees kept it close, dodging several Detroit rallies. The Tigers added an unearned run in the fifth when Eric Chavez — Rodriguez’s replacement at third — misplayed a grounder. Cabrera, the AL Triple Crown winner, followed with an RBI double.
Cabrera has a 16-game hitting streak in LCS play, breaking a tie for that record with Manny Ramirez and Pete Rose, according to STATS.
Cabrera hit into a double play with the bases loaded in the sixth, preventing the Tigers from adding more runs.
NOTES: The Tigers sent RHP Marcelo Carreno and cash to the Cubs to complete an Aug. 5 trade in which Detroit acquired utility man Jeff Baker from Chicago. ... Cabrera moved from his usual third base spot to where the shortstop would normally play as part of a defensive shift against Teixeira in the fourth — then had to run all the way back to catch a popup in foul ground. ... Nunez’s homer snapped a streak of 37 innings by Detroit starters without allowing an earned run, the longest in a single postseason in the live-ball era. The starters for the 1905 New York Giants threw 44 straight innings without allowing an earned run for the postseason record, according to STATS.