NEW YORK (AP/WFAN) — In between some hard feelings and tight pitches, the New York Yankees just outslugged the Detroit Tigers.
Mark Teixeira homered early and fill-in starter Dustin Moseley pitched well enough to overcome the two home runs he gave up to Miguel Cabrera in a testy 9-5 win Wednesday night.
By the late innings, when Cabrera was drilled, a pitch sailed behind Derek Jeter and Tigers manager Jim Leyland was ejected, it felt as if beanball exchange could break out. It didn’t escalate into that, and the teams wrap up their four-game series Thursday.
“I thought it got ugly,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi said, “and it’s unfortunate that it did.”
Umpire crew chief Eric Cooper warned the benches after Detroit’s Jeremy Bonderman hit Brett Gardner in the leg with his first pitch.
Gardner’s hard slide into second base at the end of Monday’s game took out Carlos Guillen, who went on the disabled list with a bruised knee. One out after the speedy Gardner was hit, Teixeira made it 2-0.
Gardner said he didn’t know whether he was hit on purpose. Asked whether it was intentional, Leyland simply said, “Next question.”
Yankees reliever Chad Gaudin hit Cabrera, his first batter, in the back to start the eighth. Leyland came out to argue and continued to bark from the dugout steps. As soon as the half-inning ended, he was out again — and immediately tossed.
Gaudin wasn’t ejected despite the warning. He said afterward that the pitch got away from him. Leyland came out and spent a long time gesturing while talking to Cooper at the plate.
“I’m not going to talk about that,” Leyland said. “I don’t discuss those things with anybody.”
Cooper would only say: “Everything’s going to be in a report with Major League Baseball, so I have no comment.”
In the bottom of the eighth, Detroit reliever Enrique Gonzalez threw behind Jeter with one out, but nothing happened and Jeter later walked. Gonzalez later came inside to Teixeira and Robinson Cano, getting a glare from the latter, though everyone kept calm.
“There’s always concern that we have more to lose than the other team, but at the same time, you don’t want it,” Teixeira said. “I’ve seen guys break hands and get hit in the head and break ribs because of a stupid beanball war. You just don’t want to have that.”
Cano and Curtis Granderson also homered for the Yankees, who stayed tied with the Tampa Bay Rays atop the AL East.
Moseley (3-2) went five innings, allowing four runs and five hits. He also gave up a two-run homer to Don Kelly.
Moseley won for the third time in five starts since Andy Pettitte went on the disabled list with a groin injury on July 20.
“I’m glad the boys picked me up,” Moseley said. “We tried two different ways (to get Cabrera). He got me both times.”
Six of the seven runs that Bonderman (6-9) allowed in five innings were earned.
Cano’s homer followed Teixeira’s shot. The Yankees also got an RBI triple from Ramiro Pena, who was in the lineup as Alex Rodriguez sat out for the second night in a row after hurting his calf Monday.
“He hit in the cage today and he felt good,” Girardi said, pointing out that Rodriguez hasn’t tried running yet.
Austin Kearns doubled with the bases loaded in the Yankees seventh. The Yankees got help from Detroit during a three-run fourth that made it 6-2.
Gardner was on second when Teixeira hit a hard hopper that Cabrera couldn’t handle at first base. Second baseman Ramon Santiago came over and threw to first from almost directly behind the bag, though Teixeira was the only person near it. The ball skipped toward the backstop and catcher Alex Avila couldn’t corral it, allowing Gardner to score. Cabrera and Santiago were charged with errors.
Kerry Wood worked out of a jam in the seventh, striking out Santiago and Ryan Raburn with the bases loaded and Cabrera on deck, after coming in and giving up a single to Austin Jackson. The six Yankees relievers gave up just one run — Gaudin loaded the bases without getting an out, but David Robertson bailed him out to finish the eighth. Joba Chamberlain pitched the sixth, Wood followed Boone Logan in the seventh and Mariano Rivera pitched the ninth.
“We’re all just feeding off each other,” Wood said. “I think that’s what you need.”
NOTES: Teixeira was 1 for 15 against Bonderman before Wednesday night. … Just at twilight, Teixeira hit a high fly ball to right that Raburn lost in the sky, throwing out his arms as if to say “where’d it go?” before he recovered, but not in time to stop the ball from bouncing off the warning track behind him and over the fence for a ground-rule double. … Shortly before sunset, a vivid rainbow appeared over the Bronx, behind left-center field.
(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)