The Tigers held on to beat the Yankees 7-5 today snapping a five-game losing streak. It got a little uncomfortable at the end when closer Jose Valverde allowed three runs in the ninth inning, but Tigers fans breathed a collective sigh of relief when pinch hitter Eric Chavez's long fly to right landed in Don Kelly's glove to end the game. The win moved the Tigers back in to a tie for first with the Indians.
Rookie southpaw Drew Smyly pitched another excellent game holding the Yankees to one run on two hits while striking out seven over six innings. In his last two games, Smyly has dominated the two most dangerous offenses in the American League, the other one being the Rangers. In those games, he has allowed two runs on seven hits and struckout 14.
The 22-year-old Smyly now leads the league with a 1.23 ERA and has a 22/8 K/BB ratio in 22 innings. It looks like the Tigers have found their fifth starter. Now, they just need to get their second starter healthy and their third and fourth starters to be more consistent.
The Tigers other man of the hour was left fielder Andy Dirks playing in place of Delmon Young, who has been placed on the restricted list while legal issues are sorted out. Dirks put a charge into the Tigers offense with three-run homer to left off of Yankees starter Freddy Garcia. He also made a couple of fine running catches, two plays which Young would surely not have been able to make.
The series finale will be tomorrow afternoon with Max Scherzer facing Yankees ace CC Sabathia. That is not a favorable match-up for the Bengals.