New York — The calendar changed. The Detroit Tigers’ fortunes did not.
Aaron Judge continued his assault on the Tigers, pounding out three hits including a two-out, two-run single in a four-run sixth inning in the New York Yankees’ 6-4 win Saturday at Yankee Stadium. Judge has five hits (including two home runs, one of them a grand slam) and eight RBIs in two games.
It was the fourth straight loss for the Tigers and their 14th in the last 16 games.
Jose Cisnero, who hadn’t allowed a run in his three previous outings, was one pitch from getting the Tigers out of the sixth inning with no damage. That pitch, a 98-mph fastball, was laced into right-center by Judge.
Gleyber Torres followed with a two-run single to cap the four-run outburst.
Tigers starter Spencer Turnbull and Cisnero combined for five walks and a hit batsmen. Five of those runners scored.
Turnbull was solid through five innings. He gave up a two-out RBI single to Torres in the third and an RBI double to Judge in the fifth. But his day ended abruptly when he hit Aaron Hicks with a 1-2 slider and walked Gary Sanchez to start the sixth.
The Tigers, though, weren’t doing much against Yankees starter Jameson Taillon. A solo home run by Jeimer Candelario (who had three of the Tigers’ six hits) was the only mark. But they had him on the ropes in the fifth.
Then this happened: It was a 1-1 game in the fifth inning. Niko Goodrum was on second. JaCoby Jones hit a ground ball that looked like it might beat the Yankees’ shift to the left of shortstop Torres.
Instead of being a go-ahead RBI, the ball hit Goodrum as he was running to third. Out. Dead ball.
The inning was still alive, though after Taillon walked Robbie Grossman and Willi Castro with two outs to load the bases. The stage was set for Miguel Cabrera. It would have been a storybook moment for him to tie Babe Ruth on the all-time hits chart, in New York with Ruth’s plaque in Monument Park, but the Tigers aren’t writing fairy-tale endings this season.
Cabrera, for the second time in two at-bats, struck out swinging at an elevated, 94-mph fastball.
And, typical of the way things have been going for the Tigers, the Yankees broke the tie in the bottom half of the fifth on Judge’s double.
The Tigers’ bats perked up late against the Yankees bullpen. Jonathan Schoop cashed in on two walks by former Tiger Justin Wilson in the seventh, looping a two-run single.
Then Goodrum launched a second-deck home run to right field off Chad Green in the eighth. It was the fourth of the season for Goodrum.
Yankees closer Aroldis Chapman, his fastball hitting 101 mph, closed it out without much fuss in the ninth.