DETROIT (AP) — Curtis Granderson snapped out of a short slump and insisted it had nothing to do with hitting sixth for the first time in nearly three months.
Granderson hit his 30th homer and drove in four runs to help the New York Yankees beat the Detroit Tigers 12-8 Wednesday night.
He was pushed down after leading off and hitting second for much of the year because he had two straight 0-for-5 games, including a popup with runners on second and third to end a 6-5 loss to his former team Tuesday night.
Granderson had just four hits in his previous 25 at-bats and almost had that many in one night with an RBI single in the first, a homer in the third and a double in the seventh while matching his season high for RBIs.
“It’s just very coincidental,” he said. “I’ve been with this team for three seasons and I think I’ve batted every spot but cleanup. It really doesn’t matter where I hit. I just want to win.”
CC Sabathia does, too, but he’d rather have a chance to have more than the 94 pitches manager Joe Girardi let him throw against the Tigers.
“You’re always upset when you’re not able to finish your inning,” Sabathia said. “But that’s why Joe is the manager and I go out and throw the ball. It worked out.”
It looked like it might not.
Down 7-0, the Tigers chased Sabathia and closed to 8-7 in the seventh inning only to hurt their comeback chances by giving up two runs in each of the last two innings.
“We just didn’t pitch and all the add-on runs, obviously, killed us,” Detroit manager Jim Leyland said.
Sabathia (12-3) gave up five runs — three earned — and eight hits while striking out seven over 6 2-3 innings for the AL East-leading Yankees, who had lost 12 of their previous 18 games.
Detroit had won 10 in a row at home, matching its best streak in 13 seasons at Comerica Park.
In his third start since being traded from Miami to Detroit, Anibal Sanchez (1-2) gave up seven runs, seven hits, walked two and hit two batters over three-plus innings.
“Everything didn’t work,” he said.
Omar Infante, who was also acquired with Sanchez from the Marlins, hit a solo homer in the eighth off David Robertson that pulled the Tigers within 10-8.
Eric Chavez and Granderson, batting sixth for the first time since May 15, hit RBI singles in the first for a 2-0 lead. Sanchez hit Robinson Cano and walked Chavez in the third before Granderson homered.
Girardi said before the game that he was sliding Granderson down in the lineup because he was struggling, but downplayed the move after the win.
“Sometimes you can make too much out of it,” Girardi said. “You just keep running him out there and he’s going to be productive.”
Nick Swisher’s RBI single chased Sanchez in the fourth and Mark Teixeira’s sacrifice fly gave the Yankees a seven-run lead.
Jeff Baker, playing for the first time since the Tigers acquired him Sunday from the Chicago Cubs, hit a two-out double in the fourth and scored on Brennan Boesch’s single. Baker’s two-run single in the sixth pulled Detroit within four runs.
“A pretty good debut with a new team,” Leyland said. “Looks like he knows what the bat is for.”
NOTES: Yankees 3B Alex Rodriguez, who went on the disabled list July 25 with a broken left hand, is scheduled to have an X-ray Monday in New York. … The Tigers previously won 10 straight at Comerica Park in 2006 when they went on to play in the World Series for the first time since 1984. … New York’s 13-game errorless streak ended when Cano bobbled a grounder in the sixth, the second baseman’s first miscue in the field since June 25. … Detroit CF Austin Jackson, acquired from New York as part of the Granderson trade, extended his hitting streak to 11 games. … Casey McGehee, playing in his third game since joining the Yankees, had his first hit with his new team. … Derek Jeter scored two runs, giving him 1,832 in his career to move past Frank Robinson for 14th place on the all-time list.
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