NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 06: Jose Valverde #46 (2nd L) of the Detroit Tigers celebrates with his teammates after he was the closing pitcher in the Tigers 3-2 win against the New York Yankees during Game Five of the American League Championship Series at Yankee Stadium on October 6, 2011 in the Bronx borough of New York City. (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)

ALDS Game 5: Tigers Beat Yankees, 3-2, Advance To ALCS

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Tigers Vs. Yankees Score: Detroit Headed To ALCS After 3-2 Victory In Game 5

The Detroit Tigers are headed to the ALCS after downing the New York Yankees on Thursday night by a score of 3-2. Game 5 of the series probably took a few years off the lives of Tigers fans, but it was worth it to see Jose Valverde celebrate after completing a three-out save to seal Detroit's 3-2 victory.

Perhaps as surprising as a relatively stress-free inning with Valverde on the mound was how this game started. Don Kelly and Delmon Young hit back-to-back home runs in the first inning to put Detroit on top 2-0 early, and it turned out that the first inning accounted for half of starter Ivan Nova's appearance in Game 5. He was pulled after the second inning by Joe Girardi because of forearm tightness in what was the first of many pitching changes made by the Yankees during this game.

The Tigers didn't make their first pitching change until the sixth inning, when Max Scherzer took over for Doug Fister. Fister pitched very well for the Tigers, going five innings and allowing only one run and five hits. The one run came on a solo home run by Robinson Cano in the fifth inning. An inning earlier, the Yankees had the bases loaded, but Fister worked out of the jam with no runs allowed.

Before Cano's home run in the bottom of the fifth, Victor Martinez provided some insurance for the Tigers in the top of the fifth. CC Sabathia entered the game to take over for Boone Logan, who earlier replaced Phil Hughes. Sabathia gave up a lead-off double to Austin Jackson, and later in the inning with two outs, Martinez singled to score him. The Yankees intentionally walked Miguel Cabrera, and Martinez made them pay.

Scherzer cruised through the sixth inning for the Tigers, but after allowing an infield single to Derek Jeter in the seventh, things got extremely sketchy. Joaquin Benoit came into the game and allowed back-to-back singles to Curtis Granderson and Robinson Cano. Cano reached on an infield single, and he loaded the bases for Alex Rodriguez, who struck out. Mark Teixeira drew a walk to score a run, but Benoit kept the lead intact by striking out Nick Swisher.

Benoit stayed out for the eighth inning and retired the first two batters he faced before allowing a Brett Gardner single. Jeter came up to bat and hit a long fly ball to right field, but it fell short of the wall by a few feet and Kelly was there to make the catch.

In the ninth inning, it was Papa Grande time. Jose Valverde came into the game and retired the Yankees in order. Granderson flew out to Ryan Raburn in left field, and Cano lined out to center. The Yankees' last hope was Rodriguez, and he was once again struck out, giving the Tigers the final out they needed to preserve a 3-2 victory.

The Tigers are now off to Texas to take on the Rangers in the ALCS. Just like in 2006, an AL West team awaits the Tigers after they defeated the Yankees in the ALDS. Hopefully history will once again repeat itself as the Tigers look to return to the World Series.


Tigers Vs. Yankees: Delmon Young Leaves Game 5 With Mild Left Oblique Strain

The start of the bottom of the seventh inning of Game 5 of the Tigers-Yankees series was delayed. The Tigers were without a left fielder until Ryan Raburn left the dugout and headed out onto the field to replace Delmon Young.

Young was on the field during the middle part of the inning, but he suddenly ran off with an injury before the bottom of the seventh began. Here's the official update on the injury from the Tigers:

Delmon Young left tonight's game with a mild left oblique strain. Will be further evaluated tomorrow.

Young hit three home runs during this series, which is a Tigers record for a single postseason series. He has been great for the Tigers since coming over in a trade with the Minnesota Twins, and if the Tigers advance to the ALCS, they will certainly hope to have him in the lineup.

If the Tigers win, expect to hear more about this injury on Friday.


Tigers Vs. Yankees Score Update: Detroit Takes 3-1 Lead Into 7th Inning

The Detroit Tigers were up by a score of 2-0 after the first three innings of Game 5, and that remained the case after the first four innings. There was no scoring again until the fifth inning, when Victor Martinez singled in Austin Jackson with two outs. The New York Yankees intentionally walked Miguel Cabrera to get to Martinez, and he made them pay with a clutch two-out hit.

The Tigers' three-run lead didn't last for long. In the bottom of the fifth inning, Robinson Cano hit a rocket to the right field grandstand with two outs. The solo home run cut the lead back down to two runs and made the score 3-1, which is what the score is after six innings in New York.

The most noteworthy thing about the middle three innings of Game 5 is how many pitching changes there were. The Yankees put Boone Logan in for Phil Hughes in the fourth inning, and then they inserted CC Sabathia into the game in the top of the fifth inning. Rafael Soriano relieved Sabathia in the sixth.

For the Tigers, Doug Fister managed to get through five innings. Things were looking pretty sketchy when he loaded the bases with one out in the fourth inning, but Fister worked his way out of the jam and came back out for the fifth inning.

Max Scherzer took over for the Tigers in the sixth inning and retired Mark Teixeira and Nick Swisher before allowing a Jorge Posada single. He struck out Russell Martin for the third out of the inning.

Going into the seventh inning, the Tigers still hold a 3-1 lead.


Tigers Vs. Yankees Score Update: Detroit Takes Early 2-0 Lead On Back-To-Back Home Runs

Many questioned Jim Leyland's decision to put Don Kelly second in the batting order, but it's looking like a pretty good move right about now. Kelly hit a home run to right field in his first at-bat to put the Tigers up 1-0, and Delmon Young came up next and hit a home run to left field on the first pitch he saw. It was the first time the Tigers have hit back-to-back home runs in a playoff game, and the two jacks put them on top by a score of 2-0.

After Doug Fister cruised through the bottom of the first inning, Magglio Ordonez led off the second inning with a double. The Tigers stranded him on third, but it turns out they did enough to run Ivan Nova. Joe Girardi must not have liked what he saw in the first two innings, because he replaced Nova with Phil Hughes in the third inning. Hughes did give up a single off the right field wall to Young, but he didn't give up any runs.

In the bottom of the second, the Yankees got their first base runner when Mark Teixeira hit a ground rule double. He was stranded on second with Fister getting Nick Swisher to ground out and Jorge Posada to strike out looking. The Yankees stranded Brett Gardner, who singled to center, and Curtis Granderson, who was walked, in the third inning.

The Tigers have a 2-0 lead going into the fourth inning of the decisive Game 5.


Tigers Vs. Yankees: Lineups For Game 5

The lineups have been posted for the Game 5 showdown between the Detroit Tigers and New York Yankees. First, the Tigers lineup:

1. Austin Jackson, CF

2. Don Kelly, 3B

3. Delmon Young, LF

4. Miguel Cabrera, 1B

5. Victor Martinez, DH

6. Magglio Ordonez, RF

7. Alex Avila, C

8. Jhonny Peralta, SS

9. Ramon Santiago, 2B

Pitching: Doug Fister

Let's get this out of the way: DON KELLY BATTING SECOND?! Yeah, I don't really understand the thinking behind it, but hopefully it's one of those things we look back on after the game and say, "Jim Leyland is a genius."

As for the rest of the lineup, Ordonez moves up to sixth in the batting order and Avila is behind him. Peralta is down to eighth and Santiago is ninth.

Here's the Yankees lineup, which hasn't changed once during this series:

1. Derek Jeter, SS

2. Curtis Granderson, CF

3. Robinson Cano, 2B

4. Alex Rodriguez, 3B

5. Mark Teixeira, 1B

6. Nick Swisher, RF

7. Jorge Posada, DH

8. Russell Martin, C

9. Brett Gardner, LF

Pitching: Ivan Nova

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