NEW YORK: The Detroit Tigers survived a four-run New York rally in the ninth to claim a 6-4 win in 12 innings in their play-off opener yesterday, while the Yankees suffered an even greater blow as captain Derek Jeter was lost to injury.
The 38-year-old Jeter, in the midst of one his best seasons, broke his left ankle diving for a ground ball during Detroit’s game-winning rally and will be lost for the rest of the post-season, the team said.
The victory gave Detroit a 1-0 lead in the best-of-seven American League Championship Series.
Delmon Young doubled under the glove of diving Yankee right-fielder Nick Swisher to score Miguel Cabrera in the 12th for the go-ahead run, with Detroit added another in the inning as the Tigers drew first blood in the series that puts the winner into the World Series.
Detroit led 4-0 going into the bottom of the ninth before the silenced New York bats came alive against Tigers closer Jose Valverde. Ichiro Suzuki’s two-run homer halving the deficit and another two-run blast by Raul Ibanez sending the game into extra innings.
“We have been taking punches all year,” Tigers manager Jim Leyland told reporters about bouncing back from the ninth-inning outburst.
“If we are going to be good enough, we have to be able to take a punch, and we took a big punch. We took a right cross in the ninth inning but we survived it.”
The Tigers shrugged off that shock and rallied in the 12th against New York reliever David Phelps, the eighth Yankee pitcher used, while holding them down thanks to the relief efforts of Octavio Dotel and Drew Smyly, who registered the win.
Game Two of the series will be played at Yankee Stadium today with New York’s Hiroki Kuroda taking the mound against Anibal Sanchez of the Tigers.
Basketball: Clippers beat Miami in China
SHANGHAI: The Los Angeles Clippers used a dominant inside attack to dispatch reigning NBA champion Miami Heat 99-89 in an exhibition match yesterday in front of a sell-out crowd of 18,000 in Shanghai.
With All Star point guard Chris Paul guiding the offense, Clippers big men Eddie Jordan and Blake Griffin thrilled the crowd with dunks and alley-oop baskets as Los Angeles jumped to a first-quarter double-digit lead and maintained it for much of the match.
Jordan scored 13 of his game-high 18 points in the first quarter, while power forward Griffin scored 13 points and grabbed 10 rebounds as the Clippers avenged a 94-80 loss to Miami in Beijing on Thursday.
“We played with a lot more enthusiasm tonight ... when you do that, better things happen,” Clipper coach Vinny Del Negro said.
“Blake is a huge focal point and a lot of the offense will run through him.”
With Los Angeles leading 84-67 at the end of the third quarter, both coaches chose to sit their top players.
A 12-0 run by Miami midway through the fourth quarter cut the lead to 93-87, but was too little too late.
Miami was led by forward Rodney Carney with 15 points, while reigning NBA most-valuable-player LeBron James scored 11 points despite featuring sparingly.
“We know as defending champions, it’s going to be hard to repeat,” said Heat star guard Dwyane Wade. “We accept and love competition. It’s going to be one of the best years the NBA has had,” he said of the upcoming season. REUTERS