Justin Verlander went 8⅓ innings and the New York Yankees bats were unable to keep up, as the Detroit Tigers took a commanding 3-0 series lead in the ALCS after a 2-1 victory over the Yankees on Tuesday night.
The Yankees' struggles at the plate continued against Verlander. Ichiro Suzuki's two hits were the only knocks against the Tigers ace on the night until a solo home run from Eduardo Nunez in the ninth inning gave the Yankees their lone run of the night. Verlander would leave the game after retiring the next batter, Brett Gardner.
With runners on first and second and two outs against Tigers reliever Phil Coke, Raul Ibanez was unable to deliver again, striking out after a tense at-bat against Coke.
The Yankees had turned to Phil Hughes to quiet the Tigers' bats in Game 3, but were forced to call upon the bullpen when Hughes left the game in the fourth inning after aggravating a back injury.
Delmon Young's solo home run off of Hughes in the fourth inning was the first strike for the Tigers, as Young extended his Tigers franchise record for postseason blasts. After Hughes walked the next batter, Yankees manager Joe Girardi took out the starter, who was suffering from a stiff back, and replaced him with David Phelps.
Phelps held the Tigers from scoring again in the fourth, but did surrender an RBI double to Miguel Cabrera in the fifth inning.
That was all the scoring the Tigers needed on the night, as Verlander surrendered three hits and and one run to lead the Tigers to a 3-0 series lead. Game 4 is scheduled for Wednesday night at 8 p.m. ET, with the Yankees sending CC Sabathia to the mound against the Tigers' Max Scherzer.