The New York Yankees fell in the first game of the ALCS, losing to the Detroit Tigers 6-4 in 12 innings. The Yankees had plenty of opportunities to score early, but needed some more timely hitting from Raul Ibanez to force the game into extra innings. Not only did New York fall behind Detroit 1-0 in the series, they may have lost their shortstop as well. Derek Jeter was injured in the top of the 12th, and was unable to leave under his own power.
The Yankees threatened to score early, loading the bases with two outs in the first inning. Detroit shortstop Jhonny Peralta kept the game scoreless with an impressive defensive play. Peralta made a diving stop to his right on a well-struck Alex Rodriguez ground ball to force a fielder's choice.
New York kept the pressure on Fister in the next inning, loading the bases a second time despite the first two hitters of the inning recording outs. Robinson Cano hit a line drive up the middle, which ricocheted off Fister's wrist and bounced towards Peralta. The shortstop caught the ball bare-handed, then fired a strike towards Prince Fielder. The first base umpire called Cano out, but replays suggested that Cano beat the throw to the bag.
Andy Pettitte pitched effectively for the first five innings, not allowing any Tiger's hitters to advance into scoring position. Detroit's first scoring opportunity came in the top of the sixth, when Austin Jackson led off the inning with a triple. Pettitte forced Omar Infante into a weak fly out before issuing an intentional walk to Miguel Cabrera.
With runners on the corners, Fielder cracked a single up the middle, driving in the first run of the game. Delmon Young followed Fielder with a single to shallow right, driving in Cabrera. Peralta drew a walk to load the bases, but Pettitte forced two pop-outs to end the inning.
The Yankees responded quickly in their half of the inning, with Mark Teixeira reaching on an Infante error, followed by a Raul Ibanez double down the right-field line. With two runners in scoring position, Rodriguez struck out for the first out of the inning. Nick Swisher then drew a walk, loading the bases for a third time against Fister. The right-hander fanned Curtis Granderson and Russell Martin to keep the Yankees scoreless.
Pettitte tossed 6.2 innings, allowing two runs on seven hits while fanning 5. Fister threw 6.1 shutout innings, but gave up six hits and four walks while striking out five. Neither pitcher, however, would factor into the decision.
Detroit added to their lead in the top of the eighth inning when Young smashed a solo homer against Derek Lowe. Peralta followed with a double, chasing Lowe from the game. Avisail Garcia hit a two-out single against Boone Logan to extend the Tigers lead to 4-0.
New York stormed back in the top of the ninth, tagging Tiger's closer Jose Valverde with four runs. Ichiro Suzuki hit a two-run homer to halve the Detroit lead. Later in the inning, Raul Ibanez continued his post-season heroics, hitting the Yankees' second two-run homer of the inning to force extras.
The Tigers recaptured the lead in the top of the twelfth inning. Cabrera led off the inning by drawing a walk against David Phelps, before Delmon Young smacked a double to drive in the go-ahead run.
The inning would get worse for the Yankees, as Peralta hit a ground ball towards Derek Jeter. Jeter stumbled as he fielded the ball, hurting his foot in the process which allowed Peralta to get an infield single. The New York shortstop was unable to put any weight on his left foot after the play, and needed to be helped off the field. Andy Dirks singled on the next play, extending the Tigers lead to 6-4.
Drew Smyly tossed a perfect twelfth to pick up his first win of the post-season, while Phelps is tagged with the loss. The two teams will play again tomorrow, with first pitch scheduled at 4:07 PM ET.