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Friday, April 19
The Indiana Daily Student


Tigers clutch defense helps beat Yanks

DETROIT – The New York Yankees hit the ball hard Sunday. The Detroit Tigers just kept making all the plays.\nThe Tigers used three early homers and three late defensive gems to beat the Yankees 5-4, and can win their first series since mid-July with a victory in the series finale Monday night.\n“We’ve had some bad moments this year, but the one thing about this team is that they always give it everything they have,” Tigers manager Jim Leyland said. “That’s the thing that makes a manager proud.”\nThe Tigers moved within 4 1/2 games of the Seattle Mariners in the wild-card race. Detroit began the day 2 1/2 games behind Cleveland in \nthe AL Central.\n“We knew how much we needed this one,” said Tigers reliever Joel Zumaya, who pitched 1 2/3 scoreless innings. “A big game against the Yankees means a lot of emotion.”\nNew York fell 2 1/2 games behind Seattle, and 7 1/2 behind Boston in the AL East.\n“We’re all right,” manager Joe Torre said.\nAfter third baseman Brandon Inge made a spectacular play in the eighth, part-time first baseman Carlos Guillen bailed out Tigers closer Todd Jones with two tough plays in the ninth.\nHideki Matsui started the inning with a grounder between first and second, but Guillen, who moved from shortstop to first before the eighth inning, ranged far to his right to get the ball, then threw across his body to Jones covering first.\n“That was an incredible play,” Jones said. “I didn’t think he could get to the ball, but when he did, I figured I better get myself over to the bag.”\nAfter Jason Giambi’s single, Guillen snared Robinson Cano’s hard-hit grounder and started a game-ending 3-6-3 double play.\n“They caught everything we hit,” Torre said. “With our offense, normally we can overcome that.”\nGuillen, Detroit’s All-Star shortstop, has been playing first base in the late innings of games because of a bad back.

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