|Tigers pitcher Justin Verlander watches Alex Rodriguez circle the bases on his go-ahead home run. (Frank Franklin Ii/Associated Press)|
Rodriguez HR lifts Yankees
Sabathia outpitches Tigers’ Verlander
Justin Verlander followed the trajectory of the ball and watched helplessly as Alex Rodriguez’s opposite-field fly settled softly into the second row of right-field seats.
Suddenly, after six dominant innings, Verlander was behind.
Welcome to the new Yankee Stadium.
CC Sabathia beat Verlander in a prime pitching matchup that lived up to its billing, and Rodriguez’s pop-fly homer sent the New York Yankees to a 2-1 victory over the Detroit Tigers yesterday.
“It’s very frustrating,’’ Verlander said. “It’s very disappointing to throw the ball as well as I did and come away with a loss.’’
Sabathia (9-6) pitched seven shutout innings, working out of trouble all afternoon for his eighth victory in his last 11 decisions. Mariano Rivera got three quick outs for a save and Derek Jeter made an outstanding defensive play in the ninth.
Melky Cabrera legged out an infield single to drive in the second run against Verlander (10-5), who took a three-hit shutout into the seventh before running into some tough luck, starting with Rodriguez’s fly into the right-field porch.
It was Rodriguez’s 571st home run, two behind Hall of Famer Harmon Killebrew for ninth place all time.
Marcus Thames homered in the eighth off Alfredo Aceves, who struck out two to set up Rivera for his 507th career save and 25th in 26 chances this season.
Rays 4, Royals 2 - Willy Aybar was 4 for 4, including an RBI double for the go-ahead run in the eighth, and visiting Tampa Bay beat reeling Kansas City.
It was the second consecutive collapse of the Royals bullpen and wasted a good effort by Zack Greinke, who departed after seven innings with a 2-1 lead.
John Bale walked Carlos Pena leading off the eighth and Pat Burrell’s RBI double off Juan Cruz (3-4) tied it, 2-2. Then Aybar doubled for a 3-2 lead.
White Sox 4, Orioles 3 - Mark Buehrle (10-3) allowed one run pitching into the eighth inning, Jermaine Dye hit a go-ahead two-run homer, and host Chicago beat Baltimore to pull within 1 1/2 games of AL Central-leading Detroit - the closest the White Sox have been to the division lead since May 3.
Twins 4, Rangers 1 - Scott Baker (8-7) allowed a run in eight innings, closer Joe Nathan extended his scoreless innings streak to 23 2/3 with a perfect ninth, and Michael Cuddyer homered as visiting Minnesota handed Texas its fourth straight loss.
Angels 11, Athletics 6 - Erick Aybar drove in a career-high four runs, and Chone Figgins hit a leadoff homer while reaching base four times, pacing Los Angeles at Oakland.
Diamondbacks 4, Cardinals 2 - Dan Haren allowed one run over eight innings, lowering his major league-best earned run average and leading visiting Arizona past St. Louis.
Haren (10-5) allowed his former team just four hits while striking out eight, lowering his ERA to 1.96.
Mets 5, Braves 1 - Johan Santana pitched seven scoreless innings and visiting New York snapped a 19-inning scoreless streak to beat Atlanta.
Mariners 3, Indians 1 - Jarrod Washburn (7-6) pitched effectively into the seventh inning, Franklin Gutierrez homered for a second straight night, and visiting Seattle beat Cleveland.
Dodgers 5, Astros 2 - Clayton Kershaw allowed two hits over seven scoreless innings to win his fifth straight decision and host Los Angeles celebrated manager Joe Torre’s 69th birthday with a victory over Houston.
Cubs 6, Nationals 5 - Alfonso Soriano hit a go-ahead three-run homer in the sixth, connecting for the first time in almost six weeks, and visiting Chicago held on to beat Washington.
Pirates 2, Giants 0 - Charlie Morton allowed three hits over seven innings, and San Francisco’s offense - limited to one run in 23 innings in two games - again struggled in a loss in Pittsburgh.
Brewers 5, Reds 1 - Craig Counsell’s solo homer started a four-run rally against Aaron Harang, and visiting Milwaukee’s bullpen emerged from its struggles with three scoreless innings in a win over Cincinnati.
Padres 3, Rockies 1 - Chase Headley had a pinch-hit homer in the seventh, lifting host San Diego over Colorado.
The Marlins-Phillies game in Miami was postponed after a 90-minute rain delay with the Marlins leading, 2-0, in the second inning. No makeup date was announced.