DETROIT (WFAN/AP) – Derek Jeter, yeah, he knows a little about playing under the October lights.
So when Tigers starter Rick Porcello pitched a couple balls over the middle of the plate, he and the Yankees took advantage.
Jeter drilled one of Porcello’s miscues for a two-run double in the third inning, and Curtis Granderson crushed another for an RBI double in the fifth. New York took control early and routed Detroit 10-1 Tuesday night to even their AL division series at two games apiece.
“Fortunately for me, he left one up,” Jeter said. “I’m sure it was a mistake on his part.”
The Tigers had a chance to advance at home, but now they’ll have try to do it in New York in a win-or-go-home Game 5 on Thursday night. Detroit hopes Doug Fister will fare better than he did in the completion of the suspended opener against Ivan Nova.
“He’s been great for us all season long,” Granderson said about Nova. “Don’t expect anything different for him out there two days from now.”
Fister, who was sensational for the Tigers after being acquired at the trade deadline, gave up six runs Saturday in the Yankees’ 9-3 win.
“Every kid dreams about being in this position, and it is an honor that I’m going to be the one pitching this game,” Fister said. “But I’m not going to be thinking about that once I get on the mound. I’m going to approach this game and attack this game just like I do every other game.”
While 22-year-old Rick Porcello didn’t pitch poorly for the Tigers in Game 4, he wasn’t at the top of his game.
“I might not have had my best stuff, but in the playoffs, you have to go with what you have,” Porcello said. “The one big mistake I made was that I left a slider up to Jeter. That was a bad pitch. Other than that, I thought I kept them at bay.”
He gave up four runs, five hits and an intentional walk over six innings, and New York broke open the game with a six-run eighth.
“I thought Porcello really threw the ball well,” Detroit manager Jim Leyland said. “He made a bad pitch to Derek on the double.”
Detroit wasted chances to score against A.J. Burnett before he got in a groove, and the Tigers wound up hitless in four at-bats with runners in scoring position and had just four hits in the game.
“A lot of these games come down to hitting with runners in scoring position,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. “That’s the bottom line.”
By the time the game was over, the stands were mostly empty on what the Motor City was hoping would be its night to roll into the AL championship series, just as Detroit did in a similar situation against New York in 2006.
“It’s going to be tough for us to go in there and beat them,” said Detroit’s Miguel Cabrera, the AL batting champion. “But it is going to be tough for them to knock us out.”
Will the Yankees knock Detroit out Thursday in the Bronx? Be heard in the comments below…
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