The New York Yankees took the series opener from the Detroit Tigers Friday night, coming out on the top of a back and forth game that was ultimately decided when one pitcher collapsed.
New York started things early, scoring in the first when Curtis Granderson doubled to right and then scored on an Alex Rodriguez single. Detroit answered back immediately, with Don Kelly getting a leadoff walk and scoring on a Brad Eldred triple. That left things at 1-1 in the top of the second, but they didn't stay tied for long. The Tigers struck again in the top of the third, getting two runs on four singles in a row, with Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder picking up the runs batted in. New York would take the lead next, off a solo shot by A-Rod in the fourth and a two run shot by Russel Martin in the fifth.
The back and forth continued when Detroit retook the lead in the top of the sixth, with Austin Jackson picking up a pair of RBIs with a double, and Fielder adding another on a single. The Yankees answered in the bottom of the sixth, but only managed one run when Nick Swisher doubled, then scored on an error by left fielder Kelly. That left things at 6-5 Tigers, but the Yankees added another run in the bottom of the eigth when Rodriguez singled, advanced to third on a single by Robinson Cano, then scored on a sacrifice fly by Mark Teixeira.
Mariano Rivera took the hill for the Yankees with things tied at 6, and he was able to retire Detroit 1-2-3. Brayan Villarreal entered the game to pitch for Detroit and proceeded to essentially hand the game to the Yankees. After getting Russel Martin on a ground out, he walked Derek Jeter and Curtis Granderson. Jeter advanced to third on a wild pitch, and was on his way to walking A-Rod on four straight pitches when the fourth got by Alex Avila and Jeter scored, giving the Yankees the win.