“The crowd’s into it at the beginning and it was just good to get on the board,” Kelly said. “It’s big to get out in front early here.”
Young, the first Tigers player with three homers in a single postseason series, left in the seventh because of a mild left oblique strain and will be re-evaluated Friday.
“On the last swing I felt a little tweak,” Young said. “I went out there but wasn’t able to finish off my throws. So there’s no point playing superhero right now.”
After pitching scoreless ball into the ninth inning in winning the resumption of the opener, Nova (1-1) lasted just 31 pitches and six outs, with the Yankees saying he came out due to tightness in his right forearm.
“We didn’t like the way the ball was coming out of his hand. I think it was directly related to that,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. “Some of his fastballs were cutting, and we never saw that. So I had to make a change.”
Phil Hughes started warming up after Nova’s sixth batter, Magglio Ordonez, doubled leading off the second. Ordonez advanced on Alex Avila’s groundout, but Nova worked out of trouble when Jhonny Peralta hit a one-hopper to third baseman Alex Rodriguez with the infield in and Ramon Santiago struck out.
When Hughes replaced Nova to start the third, Miguel Cabrera held up his hands, as if he were saying, “What’s this?”
It was just the start of the procession from the Yankees’ bullpen in right-center to the mound.
Hughes was pulled after his 21st pitch, a one-out single by Ordonez in the fourth. Avila, who had been 0 for 13 in the series, singled on left-hander Boone Logan’s first pitch. Boone lasted just seven pitches and two outs.
That was followed by the odd sight of the 290-pound CC Sabathia jogging in from the Yankees’ bullpen in midgame with his size 15 spikes and size 42 baseball pants. All 421 of his previous professional appearances had been starts, and he threw 106 pitches Monday night without a decision in Game 3.
Detroit immediately tacked on a run for a 3-0 lead. Former Yankee Austin Jackson led off the fifth with a broken-bat double to left. After a pair of strikeouts, Cabrera was intentionally walked and Victor Martinez, Sabathia’s former Cleveland teammate, hit an RBI single to center. Former Tigers star Curtis Granderson bobbled the ball as he tried to make a quick pickup.
New York had put increasing pressure on Fister, who kept escaping trouble as his pitch count ran up. He stranded a runner on second in the second inning when Swisher grounded out and Jorge Posada struck out, then got Cano to pop out with two on in the third. The Yankees loaded the bases with one out in the fourth on a walk and two singles, but Fister retired Russell Martin and Gardner on infield popups.
After Cano’s ninth RBI of the series, the Yankees loaded the bases with one out for the second time. Jeter beat a one-out single to shortstop in the seventh, bringing on Benoit. After umpires made the reliever remove a bandage from the left side of his face covering an ingrown hair, Granderson lined a single to right and Cano hit a two-hopper off the end of his bat to the third-base side of the mound that got by Benoit.
Rodriguez swung through a pitch that appeared to have been inside, which would have run the count full, and Teixeira walked on a 3-1 count before Benoit fanned Swisher.
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