DETROIT (AP) — Joe Girardi’s plan was to rest Alex Rodriguez and Derek Jeter, giving both a day off amid a grueling stretch of the schedule.
Then A-Rod’s replacement hurt his foot, forcing the third baseman back on the field.
And Jeter’s stand-in made two errors, sending the Yankees to another loss.
Brennan Boesch homered and drove in three runs, and the Detroit Tigers took advantage of some sloppy fielding to beat New York for the third straight time, 6-3 on Thursday. Jeter didn’t play after leaving the previous night’s game with a right hip problem, and Eduardo Nunez made two errors in his place, including a high throw that resulted in two Tigers runs.
“He’s in a little funk with his throwing,” Girardi said. “He’s used to playing every day, and now he’s not playing shortstop for three to four weeks, and that has to be hard for him.
“I don’t know if that’s the issue,” the Yankees manager added, “but we still believe in him. He’s an exciting player, and he’ll get through this.”
A.J. Burnett (4-2) held Detroit hitless until the sixth inning but made an error of his own that led to Detroit’s run in the first. He allowed five runs — only two earned — on three hits, striking out five with one walk in seven innings.
The Yankees led 2-1 in the sixth when Ramon Santiago hit a hard single to right for Detroit’s first hit. Santiago moved to second on a sacrifice, and Boesch’s two-out single up the middle tied the game.
Victor Martinez singled to start the seventh before Burnett’s control deserted him. He walked Magglio Ordonez, then hit Ryan Raburn, who was squaring to bunt. Brandon Inge put the Tigers ahead 3-2 with a sacrifice fly.
The Yankees nearly got out of the inning with no further damage, but Nunez threw high past first baseman Mark Teixeira on a routine grounder by Don Kelly, allowing two more runs to score.
“I just made a bad throw. That’s part of the game,” Nunez said through a translator. “I feel comfortable fielding the ball, but I’ve made some bad throws. I have to keep working on that.”
Girardi said he expects Jeter to play Friday night at Texas. The Yankees are in the middle of a stretch of 16 games without an off day.
Rick Porcello (2-2) allowed two runs on eight hits in seven innings for the Tigers. He walked two and struck out three.
Boesch’s solo homer in the eighth made it 6-2. It was Detroit’s fourth and final hit.
Rodriguez was supposed to have a chance to rest along with Jeter. Eric Chavez started in his place at third base, but Chavez fractured the fifth metatarsal in his left foot while running out a fourth-inning triple and had to come out of the game.
Rodriguez made a rare pinch-running appearance, then stayed in the game. According to STATS LLC, Rodriguez last pinch-ran in 1995 for Seattle in the decisive fifth game of the American League Division Series against the Yankees. He scored the tying run in the eighth inning of that game, which the Mariners went on to win in 11.
After Chavez’s RBI triple, Rodriguez came in and scored on Nunez’s single that put the Yankees ahead 2-1. The lead didn’t last, though, and the Tigers ended up taking the last three games of the four-game series.
New York had been the only American League team without a three-game losing streak.
Burnett was impressive at times, erratic at others. He began the game by hitting Kelly with a pitch, and the Detroit center fielder went to third when Burnett threw wildly to first for an error on a pickoff attempt. Boesch’s sacrifice fly brought home the game’s first run.
Detroit managed only one baserunner for the next four innings, when Boesch reached in the fourth on an error by Nunez.
“I’m not worried about the errors. That happens. I’m more frustrated about the walks and especially about hitting a guy who is trying to bunt,” Burnett said. “This isn’t on anyone else. This is on me.”
Notes: The Yankees didn’t immediately announce a roster move after Chavez’s injury. … A fan jumped into the New York dugout during the sixth inning and was immediately apprehended and taken away. “I think he was trying to get onto the field, and thought he could clear the dugout, but he landed on the steps,” Girardi said. “I have to applaud the security guards here, because they were right on him and had him cuffed and down the tunnel immediately.” … Chavez’s triple was his first since 2007. … The Yankees fell to 14-3 when leading after five innings. … This was the seventh and last regular-season game between the Tigers and Yankees this season. … Burnett hadn’t hit a batter before Thursday’s game after leading the majors with 19 in 2010. … Jeter’s next game at SS will be his 2,032nd with the Yankees, matching Cal Ripken’s mark for games at SS with one team.
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)