- Associated Press - Sunday, June 21, 2015

NEW YORK (AP) - In the first inning, Detroit Tigers catcher James McCann tried to pick off Alex Rodriguez at second base. Problem was, pitcher Alfredo Simon didn’t realize that and stabbed at the throw from the mound, deflecting the ball away.


Things only got worse the rest of the way.

Rodriguez added to his momentous weekend with a homer and five RBIs, Carlos Beltran went deep from both sides of the plate and the New York Yankees routed Detroit 14-3 on Saturday night.

“We got our butts whooped. Not much to it,” said manager Brad Ausmus, who spoke to his team after the game. “You’re going to have a couple of games like this each season. It’s just one of those blowouts. The timing is less than ideal, especially after you’ve had a few tough losses already.”

Light-hitting Didi Gregorius homered for the second consecutive game and New York banged out a season-best 18 hits on Old-Timers’ Day at Yankee Stadium.

The Yankees won their fourth straight and improved to 12-5 in June. They handed Detroit (34-34) its fourth straight defeat.

“We definitely need something to get us going. If we keep playing like this, we’ll go nowhere,” slugger Victor Martinez said.

Brett Gardner tripled, doubled and singled his first three times up against Simon (7-4), sparking the Yankees to a laugher from his leadoff spot. He also made an outstanding catch at the fence in right-center.

Chris Young homered off backup infielder Josh Wilson in the eighth and finished with three hits.

Wilson wasn’t bad - all things considered. He gave up one run and two hits in one inning during his fourth major league pitching appearance.

“I’m here to do whatever I can for the team and tonight it was to keep someone in the ‘pen from having to come in and pitch,” he said.

One night after he homered for his 3,000th hit with his daughters in the stands and later drank a champagne toast with teammates, Rodriguez was at it again. The three-time MVP, who turns 40 next month, drove in a run with a sharp grounder in the first, hit a sacrifice fly in the second and launched a three-run homer off reliever Ian Krol in the third to make it 8-0.

“I just think he’s thriving on being back in the game, something that was taken away,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi said, referring to A-Rod’s season-long drug suspension last year.

Beltran drove in three runs and homered from both sides for the 12th time in his career. New York matched season highs for runs and homers (5) in winning for the 11th time in 12 home games - the club’s best such streak since 2010.

All the offense on a misty night made things easy for Nathan Eovaldi (6-2), who rebounded from a miserable outing in Miami. Starting on three days’ rest for the first time in his career after throwing only 36 pitches Tuesday against the Marlins, the right-hander took a two-hit shutout into the seventh.

Bryan Mitchell worked three innings for his first major league save before the remnants of a sellout crowd that numbered 48,092.

In his previous start, Eovaldi got only two outs and was rocked for eight runs and nine hits in a 12-2 loss.

“I know he’s pitched very well against us in two outings. Obviously, he’s done something good against our lineup,” Ausmus said.


Tigers: Looking to rest some veteran stars, Ausmus pulled Ian Kinsler, Miguel Cabrera and Yoenis Cespedes in the fifth with Detroit trailing 10-0. It was the 12th anniversary of Cabrera’s major league debut with the Marlins.

Yankees: RHP Ivan Nova (Tommy John surgery) is probably ready to rejoin the rotation after making his third minor league rehab start Friday, Girardi said.


Gardner had three chances to hit a homer for the cycle, but was retired each time - including on a fly to center by Wilson in the eighth.

“I knew,” Wilson said. “It looked like he was going for it.”


Detroit reliever and ex-Yankee Joba Chamberlain was among the Tigers who watched Old-Timers’ Day festivities from the dugout. With former greats from Whitey Ford to Rickey Henderson on hand, the Yankees presented Willie Randolph with a Monument Park plaque and surprised Mel Stottlemyre with one of his own.


Tigers: RHP Anibal Sanchez (5-7) starts Sunday as Detroit tries to avert a three-game sweep.

Yankees: RHP Masahiro Tanaka (4-2) has a 1.31 ERA in his last five starts.

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