NEW YORK (WFAN/AP) — Joe Girardi knows that, even in a great season, his Yankees are probably going to lose at least 60 games.
He just doesn’t like it when they give wins away.
On Tuesday night, the Yankees ran into three key outs on the bases, helping the Detroit Tigers snap their seven-game losing streak with a 4-2 victory.
“Over the course of the year, you know are there going to be nights like this, but you never enjoy them,” Girardi said. “You don’t ever want to see your team making multiple mental mistakes.”
The first play was understandable. Andruw Jones was thrown out trying to score on a line-drive to Tigers right-fielder Casper Wells.
“That play is fine – you want to be aggressive with two outs,” Girardi said. “Wells made a great throw and (Alex) Avila did a great job of blocking the plate.”
Girardi wasn’t as forgiving about the sixth inning. With one out, Robinson Cano broke for second when the ball bounced away from Avila, but froze when the catcher quickly retrieved the ball and was caught in a rundown.
Jorge Posada followed with a single, but was thrown out by 30 feet when he tried to catch Tigers starter Brad Penny offguard. Penny merely turned and flipped the ball to second baseman Scott Sizemore, who applied the tag as Posada came to a stop well short of the bag.
“I just screwed up,” Posada said. “They weren’t paying any attention to me, and I thought I could sneak in there and get into scoring position for Andruw. It was a dumb play.”
“It is impossible to say exactly how it affects the game, but you can’t make foolish outs,” he said. “Robby’s was a good read, but you can’t stop – you have to keep going. Georgie’s just can’t happen.”
CC Sabathia (2-2) went seven innings, allowing four runs on 10 hits. He struck out six and walked three.
“I just didn’t have great command,” Sabathia said. “I couldn’t locate anything and they did a great job of hitting my mistakes.”
Brad Penny (2-3) pitched six strong innings without allowing an earned run for the Tigers. Daniel Schlereth pitched the seventh and eighth, and Jose Valverde finished for his sixth save.
The Tigers got a combined seven hits from the top three hitters in the order, including Austin Jackson and Magglio Ordonez – both hitting under .200 – and Sizemore, who was playing his first game of the season.
“That’s always what you’re looking to do – contribute early on,” said Sizemore, who was called up from Triple-A Toledo to try to bolster the top of the Tigers’ struggling lineup. “That’s a pretty good start for the 1-2-3 in the lineup.”
Jackson led off the first inning for the Tigers with a ground-rule double down the left-field line. Sizemore followed with a double to right-center, although Jackson only advanced to third because he was tagging up, thinking the ball might be caught.
Ordonez drove in a run with a groundout for only his second RBI of the season, and Miguel Cabrera made it 2-0 with a sacrifice fly.
Penny appeared in trouble early as the Yankees put two runners on in each of the first two innings, but New York didn’t score until the fourth, when Sizemore made an error that led to an unearned run. Detroit escaped further damage when Wells threw out Jones to end the threat.
Penny allowed six hits, walked two and struck out one.
The Tigers added two runs in the fifth. Jackson hit an RBI triple to the left-field corner with one out, and Sizemore followed with a sharp single to right. Detroit later loaded the bases, but Ryan Raburn struck out and Jhonny Peralta hit a soft comebacker to the mound.
Sizemore, who had hits in his first three at-bats, hit .224 in limited duty with Detroit last year, and he failed to win the second base job during spring training this season. But he was hitting .408 with Toledo when the slumping Tigers decided to give him another chance.
Offense hasn’t been Detroit’s only problem. At least four members of the Tigers’ taxed bullpen were deemed unavailable before the game by manager Jim Leyland. That left Schlereth to pitch two innings, but although Mark Teixeira hit a solo homer in the eighth, New York couldn’t mount a sustained rally.
Valverde then pitched a hitless ninth, one night after taking the loss in New York’s 5-3 win over the Tigers.
NOTES: Teixeira’s homer was his eighth of the season. … Cano played after sitting out Monday’s game with a left hand injury. … Yankees RHP Carlos Silva is scheduled to make his first start for Class-A Tampa on Wednesday night. The right-hander was released by the Chicago Cubs during spring training and agreed to a minor league contract with New York on April 9.
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