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Yankees clean up again

Yankees clean up again
DETROIT -- One cleanup hitter put his team in control, and the other didn't.

The New York Yankees were shut out for three innings Wednesday night by Detroit Tigers rookie Rick Porcello, but Nick Swisher put the Yankees ahead with a three-run homer in the fourth inning.

But later that inning, with the bases loaded and reliever Clay Rapada on to face cleanup hitter Hideki Matsui, the game was all but decided.

Matsui drilled a base-clearing double off the wall in left to lead the Yankees to an 8-6 victory.

"Matsui won that battle and it was a big hit," Tigers manager Jim Leyland said. "It changed things."

It was the second night in a row the Yankees have strung together a big inning. On Tuesday, the Yankees had 10 runs in the seventh inning. On Wednesday, the Yankees pushed across seven runs in the fourth inning.

Detroit had a chance against Yankees starter Joba Chamberlain earlier.

He had walked Magglio Ordonez on four pitches to load the bases in the third inning for Detroit cleanup hitter Miguel Cabrera.

Cabrera fouled off two pitches as Chamberlain rediscovered the strike zone. Cabrera then struck out.

"We had one great shot at him with a great hitter up," Leyland said, "and he didn't get it. (Chamberlain) settled in after that."

Cabrera has just two RBIs in the past 12 games, and only four extra-base hits in those games.

Chamberlain retired 10 consecutive Tigers beginning with Cabrera in the third, and Detroit lost the rubber game of a three-game series.

Placido Polanco's sacrifice fly in the third inning provided Porcello a 1-0 lead that quickly vanished.

Porcello, who grew up not too far from Yankee Stadium in Chester, N.J., got strong fielding plays from Cabrera and third baseman Brandon Inge to get out of the first inning. But he settled down with two quick innings before losing it in the fourth.

"I hung a changeup there (to Swisher)," Porcello said. "What I'm most disappointed with is after the home run, not getting us out of there and keeping us in the game. I've got to be better."

Porcello said his "breaking ball was inconsistent" the entire game before also losing command of his fastball.

Leyland said facing a lineup loaded with switch-hitters and left-handed bats is challenging to any pitcher, much less a 20-year-old rookie.

"He started pressing," Leyland said. "But it wasn't his nerves. It was his control."

Author:Fox Sports
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Added: May 1, 2009

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