Justin Verlander pitched into the ninth inning to hold off the New York Yankees in Game Three at Comerica Park on Tuesday, as the Detroit Tigers took a commanding 3-0 lead in the American League Championship Series.
Yankees manager Joe Girardi made a lineup shakeup in attempts to spark the anemic New York offense, but it failed to change the club's fortunes. New starters Brett Gardner and Eric Chavez combined for seven at-bats without reaching base.
Eduardo Nunez hit a solo shot for New York to lead off the ninth inning. But aside from Nunez's shot, the Yankees mustered just four other hits -- two from Ichiro Suzuki, and one from Mark Teixeira and Robinson Cano. The Yankees also failed the gain a walk.
Verlander only struck out three, but the Tigers' ace was still quite effective. Phil Coke replaced Verlander in the ninth inning, and gave up back-to-back singles to Teixeira and Cano, before striking out Raul Ibanez, who had previously salvaged the Yankees postseason hopes against the Baltimore Orioles.
"There were some good at-bats tonight. The ball was not carrying tremendously well tonight, we know that," Girardi said. "But I think he ended up with three strikeouts. So our guys put the ball in play and tried to get on base, but, you know, when you face Verlander, you know what you're up against."
Delmon Young homered for the Tigers in the fourth inning, as the Tigers had seven total hits in the game. Girardi pulled starter Phil Hughes after walking Andy Dirks following the Young homer, and used a total of five relievers who did a solid job.
Game Four is Wednesday at 8:00 pm eastern time at Comerica Park.