Two older players who have received a lot of criticism from fans (including myself) lately showed that they still have something left in the tank tonight. Kenny Rogers pitched six solid innings And Gary Sheffield hit a two run homer to help the Tigers beat the Yankees 6-4 in the opener of a three game series. Rogers allowed just two runs on six hits in one of his better starts of the year. The only runs off Rogers scored on a two run homer by Robinson Cano in the second. On the negative side, Kenny continued to have control troubles walking four including three in the third inning.
The bullpen was not quite as sharp as they have been the last couple of weeks but they managed to hold the lead. With a 6-2 lead in the eighth, Denny Bautista walked the bases loaded then hit a batter to allow a run. Thankfully, Clay Rapada came in and got the left-handed Bobby Abreu to ground to third for the final out. Todd Jones allowed a walk, a hit and a run in the ninth but got the save when he punched out Cano to end the game. The Yankees left twelve runners on base for the night.
The Tigers built up an early 6-2 lead versus starter Phil Hughes. Magglio Ordonez had a two run single in the first. They then scored three in the third on a lead off homer by Curtis Granderson and a two run shot by Sheffield. Sheffield's blast ended a woeful 0 for 17 slump and helped him get revenge against booing Yankee fans. Back to back doubles by Granderson and Placido Polanco capped the Tiger scoring in the fourth. It was a four hit night for Polanco who seems to have shaken his early slump. He is 8 for 17 in his last four games.
Tomorrow night, Jeremy Bonderman will oppose Andy Pettitte in the second game of the series.