MLB Playoffs: Tigers Edge Yankees to Clinch ALCS Berth

The Detroit Tigers held on for a 3-2 victory over the New York Yankees last night, taking the decisive game five of the American League Division Series.  With the win, the Tigers ended the Yankees season and will now prepare to take on the Texas Rangers in the ALCS.

Detroit never trailed in game five.  The Tigers used back-to-back solo shots off the bats of Don Kelly and Delmon Young to take an early 2-0 lead.  Detroit starter Doug Fister preserved his club’s advantage, holding the Yankees to a single run over his five innings of work.

New York threatened several times against Fister, including loading the bases in the 4th with only one out.  But, Russell Martin and Brett Gardner each flied out to Tigers infielders, allowing Fister to escape the inning unscathed.  The only damage the Yankees could muster versus the big right-hander was Robinson Cano’s solo shot in the 5th, reducing the Tigers lead to 3-1.

The Yankees again threatened in the bottom of the 7th, loading the bases against Max Scherzer and Joaquin Benoit.  Again with one out, New York was only able to bring in a single run, and that was a gimme as Benoit walked Mark Teixeira reduce the Yankees deficit to one.  Alex Rodriguez and Nick Swisher each struck out to end the threat.

Benoit came back for a scoreless 8th before giving way to Tigers closer Jose Valverde.  Though he made things interesting during his previous two playoff appearances, Valverde posted a perfect frame, striking out Rodriguez to end the game and send the Tigers to the ALCS.

The Yankees outhit Detroit, but couldn’t come up with base knocks in the clutch, as New York combined to go only 2-9 with runners in scoring position.

Over the first round playoff series, the Yankees outscored the Tigers 28-17.  Derek Jeter, Rodriguez and Teixeira combined to go 10-60 (.167) over the five games, with no home runs and only six RBI’s.  Jorge Posada, likely playing in his final games as a Yankee, went out with a bang, hitting at a clip of .429/.579/.571.

With their game five victory, the Tigers will now move on to face the Rangers in the ALCS.  Game one is scheduled for Saturday with Justin Verlander facing off against C.J. Wilson.

For more on the Tigers and Yankees, be sure to check out Motor City Bengals and Yanks Go Yard.

Tags: Alex Rodriguez Brett Gardner C.J. Wilson Delmon Young Derek Jeter Detroit Tigers Don Kelly Doug Fister Joaquin Benoit Jose Valverde Justin Verlander Mark Teixeira Max Scherzer New York Yankees Nick Swisher Robinson Cano Russell Martin

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