Detroit 6, NY Yankees 1
When: 7:15 PM ET, Saturday, June 11, 2016
Where: Yankee Stadium, Bronx, New York
Victor Carapazza, 1B -
Mike Winters, 2B -
Mark Wegner, 3B -
NEW YORK -- Ian Kinsler was presented with the fact that he never drove in five runs before.
"Really? That's terrible. That's terrible."
There was nothing terrible about Kinsler's swing on a humid Saturday night at Yankee Stadium when he drove in a career-high five runs and led the Detroit Tigers to a 6-1 victory over the New York Yankees.
Kinsler had 15 career games with four RBIs, but this has been a season of firsts for him. The second baseman hit his first career grand slam on May 31 against the Los Angeles Angels but had yet to cross the five-RBI barrier until Saturday.
"Honestly, I'm just trying to get on base for the guys behind me, honestly," Kinsler said. "I'm just trying to put up good at-bats, get the barrel on the ball and good things are happening."
Good things happened for him with the scored tied 1-1 with one out and two on in the fifth against Masahiro Tanaka (3-2). Kinsler got enough of Tanaka's first pitch over the middle of the plate and lined it just inside the foul line and over the left field fence.
"I still don't think it's fair," Kinsler said. "No, I'm not giving it back. I thought that thing was going to move foul. I think it was the heavy air. It was kind of humid out there and kept it pretty straight. So I was able to slip one right inside that pole."
Kinsler's next two RBIs came against reliever Kirby Yates with one out in the seventh. He drove a ball to deep center field and it one-hopped the wall for a two-run double.
"Kinsler really had a heck of a day and came up really big for us," Detroit right-hander Justin Verlander said.
The four-time All-Star's most prolific run-producing day backed another solid performance by Verlander (6-5), who won for the first time in eight career starts at the current Yankee Stadium. Verlander allowed one run and five hits in 6 2/3 innings in a 106-pitch outing.
Verlander's velocity was still at 95 in the sixth when he struck out Carlos Beltran and his toughest moments were during a 28-pitch third.
"I thought he had better stuff than the last time I'd seen him," Yankees third baseman Chase Headley said. "Velocity is better. Thought the slider was good for him. He just had better overall stuff. He didn't put anybody on.
"When you got better velocity, when you throw 95 instead of 91, it makes all of your other pitches better, and he was throwing all of them for strikes."
Verlander gave up a one-out triple on the 10th pitch to Headley and had to wait out a nearly three-minute umpires review to confirm the original call. On the next pitch, he gave up an RBI single to Rob Refsnyder but got out of it by retiring Beltran, starting a run where he retired 12 of the final 14 hitters he faced.
"I'm not exactly sure how many pitches I threw that inning, but when it's that hot, it was really humid it kind of zaps you," Verlander said. "You don't feel it so much when you have a normal 15 or so pitch inning but when you start being out there a little more or have high stress situations, I think that's when it can get to you a little bit."
Nick Castellanos homered in the second inning off Tanaka to give Detroit a 1-0 lead. After Kinsler finished his big day, closer Francisco Rodriguez pitched for the first time in a week with the bases loaded in the ninth and needed three pitches to retire Headley for his 18th save of the season.
Tanaka continued to struggle on four days' rest, allowing five runs and six hits in 6 1/3 innings. He gave up multiple home runs for the second time this season and lost for the second in three starts after going unbeaten in his first 10 outings.
"I thought he made a couple of mistakes," New York manager Joe Girardi said. "He made a mistake to Castellanos early on when it was 0-2, and then he threw a cutter than backed up for the three-run homer and that was the difference in the game."
NOTES: New York LHP Chasen Shreve (shoulder) will start a rehab assignment with Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes Barre on Sunday. He has been sidelined since May 26 and has thrown two bullpen sessions. ... Detroit manager Brad Ausmus was unwilling to revisit LF Justin Upton misjudging a fly ball by Yankees SS Didi Gregorius, which led to a two-run double in the first inning on Friday. After the game, Ausmus said, "I will not blame one player for a game, or trying to blame Justin Upton for a game. That won't happen. You're not going to hear that from me." ... Asked if someone would have told him in the offseason that the Yankees would be have four first baseman on the disabled list, manager Joe Girardi quipped: "What happened to everyone else?" ... Ausmus also had a quip when asked if he realizes Yankees RHP Masahiro Tanaka throws more two-seam fastballs. "We do now," Ausmus said. "Thanks for the tip."
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