The Tigers hit four home runs in an 8-1 rout to end the New York Yankees’ season and reach the World Series. The St. Louis Cardinals are one win from joining Detroit in Major League Baseball’s title round.
Jhonny Peralta hit two home runs and Miguel Cabrera added his first homer of this postseason yesterday as the Tigers completed a sweep of the Yankees in the best-of-seven American League Championship Series.
New York batted .188 in the 2012 playoffs and scored in only three of 39 innings against the Tigers. Robinson Cano, Curtis Granderson, Alex Rodriguez, Nick Swisher and Russell Martin hit a combined .122 for the Yankees -- who had as many errors (two) as hits yesterday.
“We didn’t swing the bats,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi said in a news conference. “It wasn’t one guy, it wasn’t two guys, it was a bunch of guys. And it’s hard to win when you don’t score runs.”
Matt Holliday had a pair of run-scoring singles as the defending World Series champion Cardinals defeated the San Francisco Giants 8-3 to take a three-games-to-one lead in the National League Championship Series.
Adam Wainwright allowed one run on four hits in seven innings to earn the victory for the Cardinals, who can finish off the Giants tonight in Game 5 in St. Louis. If the Giants win that game, the series would move back to San Francisco on Oct. 21 and, if necessary, a decisive seventh game on Oct. 22.
Holliday drove in runs as the Cardinals scored two runs each in the first and fifth innings. Jon Jay added a two-run double in the sixth and Yadier Molina added a run-scoring double in the Cardinals’ two-run seventh. Hunter Pence hit a solo home run in the second inning for the Giants, who got a two-run homer from Pablo Sandoval in the ninth.
Detroit will be playing in the World Series for the first time since 2006, when it lost the best-of-seven championship in five games to the Cardinals.
The Tigers will be seeking their fifth World Series title and first since 1984. The World Series is scheduled to begin Oct. 24, with the first two games at the NL team’s ballpark.
“The guys really started swinging the bats,” said Justin Verlander, who is 3-0 with a 0.74 earned run average in the postseason and will be the Tigers’ Game 1 starter. “Hopefully we can carry that over into the World Series.”
The Yankees had two hits and 12 strikeouts yesterday against four Tigers pitchers. Detroit starter Max Scherzer took a no-hitter into the sixth inning.
The last time New York failed to win a game in a best-of- seven postseason series was in the 1976 World Series against the Cincinnati Reds.
The Yankees hit .157 (22-for-140) against the Tigers, the second-lowest average among 172 teams that have competed in the league championship series since 1969, with only that year’s Minnesota Twins (.155) posting a lower mark.
After scoring seven runs in Game 1 of the AL Division Series against the Baltimore Orioles, the Yankees had four runs or fewer in each of their last eight playoff games -- the longest such stretch in a postseason in franchise history.
Rodriguez and Granderson were left out of the Yankees’ starting lineup yesterday. Rodriguez, 37, who is fifth on the MLB career list with 647 home runs, hit .120 with no homers in the 2012 postseason. Granderson, 31, who hit 43 homers this season, struck out as a pinch-hitter in the seventh inning yesterday and was 0-for-11 in the playoff series against Detroit.
“There’s a lot of good hitters in that room and to shut them down really surprises me,” Girardi said. “Collectively, we weren’t able to get it done.”
Detroit never trailed in the ALCS in ending the Yankees’ season for the second straight year.
The only other postseason series in which the Yankees never held a lead was the 1963 World Series, when they were swept in four games by the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Austin Jackson added a home run for the Tigers. Delmon Young, who had two hits and drove in a run yesterday, was chosen the ALCS Most Valuable Player. Young hit .294 with two homers and eight runs batted in against the Yankees.
It was the first home run this postseason for Cabrera, 29, who this year became baseball’s first Triple Crown winner since Boston’s Carl Yastrzemski in 1967. Cabrera led the AL with 44 home runs, 139 runs batted in and a .330 batting average.
Yankees starter CC Sabathia, who hadn’t lost in his previous eight postseason starts, allowed six runs on 11 hits in 3 2/3 innings and took the loss.
Swisher had a run-scoring double in the sixth inning for New York’s run.
“Our pitching carried us so we didn’t need to go out there and score five, six runs every game to win,” Young said. “With the zeros they were putting up, one to two runs with them was a lot because they were hot.”
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