New York scored two runs in the first off of RBI-singles from Eric Chavez and Curtis Granderson. Granderson extended the lead to 5-0 with a three-run home run in the third. A Nick Swisher single and a Mark Teixeira sac fly made it 7-0 heading into the bottom of the fourth.
Brennan Boesch singled in a run in the fourth and a single from Jeff Baker scored two in the sixth to make it 7-3.
In the seventh, Ichiro Suzuki's RBI-single gave the Yankees a five-run lead. That lead was cut to just one after a huge bottom of the inning for Detroit.
Austin Jackson scored on a Prince Fielder groundout, then Miguel Cabrera scored on an Andy Dirks single. Brennan Boesch's infield single scored Delmon Young, then Alex Avila's single drove in Dirks. This made it 8-7.
New York extended their lead to 10-7 in the top of the eighth, first with an RBI-single from Teixeira and then with Robinson Cano scoring on a Chavez groundout.
Omar Infante's solo home run in the bottom of the eighth made it 10-8. Jayson Nix scored on a Brayan Villarreal balk and Cano drove in Jeter with a single to make it 12-8 in the ninth and that's how it would stay.
Anibal Sanchez got the loss for Detroit. He pitched three innings, gave up seven hits and seven earned runs and struck out two.
C.C. Sabathia pitched six and two-thirds innings, gave up eight hits, five runs (three earned) and struck out seven for the win.
The fourth and final game of the series will be played on Thursday, first pitch at 1:05 p.m. ET at Comerica Park.