The Detroit Tigers and New York Yankees are headed to a decisive Game 5 in their series. The Tigers were hoping to close out the Yankees at home in Game 4 just like they did in 2006, but the Yankees had other plans. A.J. Burnett shockingly pitched outstanding for the Yankees in 5.2 innings, and he led New York to a 10-1 victory in Game 4.
The Tigers blew their chance to jump on the Yankees in the first inning. Burnett walked the bases loaded, but the Tigers couldn't capitalize on his early wildness. Don Kelly almost made Burnett pay, but Curtis Granderson made a leaping catch in center field to snag a line drive and get New York out of the jam.
Burnett was locked in for New York after the first inning. He went 5.2 innings and gave up only four hits. He did walk four batters, but the only run he allowed was on a solo homer by Victor Martinez in the fourth inning.
Rick Porcello wasn't bad for the Tigers, although he did allow four runs in six innings. He struck out five, but unfortunately one of those strikeouts didn't come when Derek Jeter was up to bat in the third. He lined a ball over Austin Jackson's head and scored Jorge Posada and Russell Martin.
Granderson made the Tigers pay in the fifth with a one-run double, and Alex Rodriguez scored Jeter later in that inning to make it a 4-1 game. Granderson also made the Tigers pay in the bottom of the sixth by fully extending to make a diving catch. Johnny Peralta was hoping to get a run back with Kelly on first, but Granderson's great catch silenced Comerica Park and any thought of a Tigers rally.
Any hope the Tigers had of winning this game went down the drain in the top of the eighth. Phil Coke allowed consecutive singles to Rodriguez, Mark Teixeira and Nick Swisher, loading the bases. Al Alburquerque came in to try to get the Tigers out of the jam, but he balked one run in and later allowed Teixeira to score on a Jesus Montero single. Daniel Schlereth came in to replace Alburquerque, but he wasn't able to get out of the jam, either. By the time the Tigers finally did escape the inning, they found themselves trailing by a score of 10-1.
Tuesday went about as poorly as it could for the Tigers, as the score suggests. With a chance to clinch a trip to the ALCS at home, the Tigers were able to score only one run on Burnett, who has been very inconsistent this year. To make matters worse, the bullpen imploded for the Tigers and didn't even keep things close. Had Detroit been able to stay within a few runs, they might have had a chance. After going down by nine runs in the eighth, it was over.
The Tigers and Yankees will get a day off on Wednesday and head to New York for Game 5 on Thursday. Doug Fister will get the start for the Tigers and Ivan Nova will start for the Yankees. The first pitch is scheduled for 8:07 p.m.