What is going on with Mariano Rivera?
The greatest closer of all-time is in the midst of an unprecedented skid, as he blew his third consecutive save attempt on Sunday by giving up solo homers to Miguel Cabrera and Victor Martinez in the ninth to tie the game. But Brett Gardner picked him up in a big way in the bottom half of the inning, blasting a two-out homer into the second deck in right field for a 5-4 win — the Yankees’ fifth walk-off win of the season.
The Yankees avoided dropping to .500 for the first time since early April. By taking two of three from the Tigers, the Yankees won their first series since July 5-7.
Alex Rodriguez hit his first home run of the 2013 season to leadoff the second inning and Alfonso Soriano added another solo shot to leadoff the fourth.
Rodriguez’s homer came on a 1-0 count against former Cy Young award winner and MVP Justin Verlander. He deposited it in the left field seats for his first home run since September 14. In the third, he laced a two-out RBI single down the first base line to give the Yankees a 3-1 lead.
Soriano’s home run also came off of Verlander, and it was the 2,000th hit of his career.
Andy Pettitte got the start for the Yankees and allowed a run in the first inning for the eighth consecutive outing. That would be the only run that he would surrender, but a high pitch count forced him to come out after 4 1/3 innings. Shawn Kelley came on in relief with the bases loaded in the fifth, but retired the next two batters to escape the inning without allowing a run to cross.
Associated Press photo