Despite a shaky first inning and a homer to Victor Martinez, A.J. Burnett actually pitched a pretty good game, even if it was a bit nerve wracking, as the Yankees beat the Tigers 10-1 in Detroit to even the ALDS at two games apiece.
It was really a best case scenario for Burnett as he went 5.2 innings and held the Tigers to just one run despite allowing eight base runners.
It was a case of deja vu as Burnett was almost in an exactly identical situation in game four of the ALCS against the Rangers last season. In that scenario Burnett had held the Rangers to no runs over five innings, but allowed five runs over the next two innings and blew the game. Today A.J. came out in the 6th with a 4-1 lead, but it was a different fate this time.
The Yankees scored two runs in the 3rd, two more in the 5th, but really broke out offensively in the 8th. Alex Rodriguez got two hits that inning as the Yankees batted around and picked up seven hits overall.
Rafael Soriano had a big 1.1 innings where he held the Tigers down in a key spot. Phil Hughes came in after the Yankees blew the game open and pitched brilliantly. His fastball actually reached 95 mph and he threw nine strikes in 13 pitches.
The Yankees and Tigers are back at it on Thursday with rookie Ivan Nova starting against Doug Fister. Have to imagine CC Sabathia and Justin Verlander will be lurking in the bullpen for that game too, but the Yankees pen is well rested with David Robertson and Mariano Rivera getting Tuesday night off.