DETROIT – J.D. Martinez and Yoenis Cespedes hit consecutive RBI singles in the seventh inning, and Joba Chamberlain got Jacoby Ellsbury to hit into a crucial double play in the eighth, helping the Detroit Tigers to a 2-1 victory over the New York Yankees on Monday night.
CC Sabathia (0-3) faced the minimum number of hitters through the first six innings, but with two out and a man on second in the seventh, the Yankees intentionally walked Victor Martinez. J.D. Martinez followed with a sharp single that shortstop Didi Gregorius was unable to keep in the infield, and Cespedes’ single scored Martinez.
The Yankees had men on first and third with one out in the eighth when Chamberlain relieved Alfredo Simon (3-0). Ellsbury’s hard grounder went right to second baseman Ian Kinsler, and the double play ended the threat.
Joakim Soria pitched the ninth for his fifth save.
Simon allowed a run and seven hits in 7 1-3 innings. He struck out seven, but Mark Teixeira’s second-inning homer put the Yankees up 1-0.
Detroit hit into three double plays in the first six innings, and Jose Iglesias was caught stealing in the third when Sabathia stepped off the mound and caught him between first and second. The 6-foot-7 left-hander went over and tagged Iglesias out himself.
Rajai Davis singled to start the Detroit seventh, then hustled to second on Kinsler’s flyout to deep left. Miguel Cabrera grounded out in an unusual 6-4-3 putout — Gregorius threw to second to try to catch Davis off the base, and although the Detroit runner got back safely, Stephen Drew still had time to relay the ball to first in time to get Cabrera.
Victor Martinez was then given his free pass, and J.D. Martinez and Cespedes put the Tigers ahead.
Sabathia allowed two runs and seven hits in eight innings — his 38th career complete game and first since 2013. He threw 98 pitches.
Alex Rodriguez went hitless for the Yankees. He had to duck twice to get out of the way of Simon’s pitches — although both looked like curveballs and were measured in the mid-70s on the stadium scoreboard.
Yankees: RF Carlos Beltran returned from a cold and started in right field, but he went hitless with two strikeouts.
Tigers: Trainer Kevin Rand said RHP Justin Verlander had an MRI recently, but it didn’t show anything beyond the original diagnosis of a right triceps strain. Verlander has not pitched this season.
Detroit’s Kyle Lobstein (1-0) — in the rotation because of Verlander’s injury — takes the mound Tuesday night against New York’s Nathan Eovaldi (0-0).
N.Y. Yankees at Detroit
• When: 7:08 p.m.
• TV/radio: Fox Sports Detroit Plus/WJIM 1240-AM