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Sánchez’s only mistake was a mistake to Lyle Overbay, which he took out of the park for a 2-run homer. Other than that, he was quite strong. Sánchez opened the game, retiring nine straight, then allowed a couple singles in the fourth sandwiched around a force out. Alfonso Soriano and Curtis Granderson both struck out to end the threat to preserve the Tigers’ 2-0 lead.
The Tigers chased Hughes in the fifth with a 4-run fifth, and went out to a 6-0 lead. The Yankees chipped away with the Overbay homer, but Sánchez quickly stifled the threat with two strikeouts and a ground out, and then Torii Hunter officially put the game out of reach with a 3-run homer.
Neither team did much offensively again until the ninth, when Overbay singled off Jeremy Bonderman to score Granderson and make it a 9-3 game, but Jayson Nix struck out to end the game.
Justin Verlander (12-8, 3.50 ERA) goes tomorrow in the rubber match. Verlander actually had .24 shaved off his ERA before yesterday’s game, as what had been ruled a double off Verlander in a game on July 25th was changed to an error against Andy Dirks. The subsequent four runs that scored against Verlander in that eventual 7-4 loss are now all unearned.
The Yankees will counter with Andy Pettitte (7-9, 4.71 ERA). Pettitte has been good against the Tigers in his career, owning a 10-9 record and 3.66 ERA, but the veteran lefty has been struggling mightily this year, and was rocked in his last start against the Chicago White Sox.