Sanchez silences Yankees’ bats as Tigers take 2-0 ALCS lead
New York, NY, United States (4E Sports) – Anibal Sanchez surrendered just three hits in seven strong innings as the Detroit Tigers snatched a 2-0 lead in the American League Championship Series with a 3-0 win over the New York Yankees Sunday at Yankees Stadium.
Sanchez (1-0) struck out seven with three walks while Phil Coke fanned three in two innings of relief for his first postseason save.
The Tigers became the 23rd team in LCS history to take a 2-0 series lead since it became a best-of-seven competition 26 years ago. Nineteen of the last 22 advanced to the World Series.
The series will travel to Detroit for game No. 3 and 4, with Tigers ace Justin Verlander starting against Phil Hughes Tuesday.
“He worked both sides of the plate and he got them off the balance, the great hitters they have in that lineup,” Tigers slugger Miguel Cabrera said of Sanchez. “He kept us in the game.”
Yankees starter Hiroki Kuroda (0-1) kept the Tigers scoreless until Delmon Young hit an RBI groundout that brought Quintin Berry home in the seventh to put Detroit on the board.
The Tigers scored two more runs in the eighth with the help of a missed call at second base by umpire Jeff Nelson.
Robinson Cano tagged Omar Infante as he made a head-first dive to second but was called safe, extending the inning and paving the way for RBI singles by Avisail Garcia and Cabrera for a 3-0 Tigers lead.
Yankees manager Joe Girardi tried to argue the call to no avail and was ejected from the game on his 48th birthday.
“I don’t have a problem with Jeff’s effort, I don’t, because he hustled to get to the play,” said Girardi. “But in this day and age when we have instant replay available to us, it’s got to change.”
“These guys are under tremendous amounts of pressure. It is a tough call for him, because the tag is underneath and it’s hard for him to see. And it takes more time to argue and get upset than you get the call right. Too much is at stake,” he added.
Kuroda retired the first 15 batters he faced before surrendering a single to Jhonny Peralta in the sixth inning. Overall, he allowed three earned runs on five hits with 11 strikeouts in 7 2/3 innings.
“I thought both starting pitchers were absolutely terrific,” Tigers manager Jim Leyland said. “I haven’t seen that much of Kuroda. I thought he was terrific, and Sanchez was matching him inning for inning.”