(Reuters) - Derek Jeter scored on a passed ball to give the New York Yankees a 7-6 come from behind win over the Detroit Tigers on Friday, spoiling another visit to the Bronx for Detroit ace Justin Verlander.
Alex Rodriguez belted a homer, drove in another run and tied the scores in eighth inning to help send the slumping Tigers to their fifth straight defeat.
“It was a nice win, a nice way to start the homestand with a good win, especially being behind twice in that game and able to come back against a top-notch pitcher like Verlander,” Rodriguez said following a 3-for-4 night at the plate.
“It’s definitely a good sign.”
Cy Young winner Verlander, who has not won in New York for almost five years, surrendered five runs on seven hits in six innings.
Yankees starter Ivan Nova was also wayward, yielding six runs on 11 hits, but three New York relievers found their range before closer Mariano Rivera (1-1) came on in the ninth to get the final three outs for the win.
“Obviously, it could’ve been a lot better,” said Verlander, who has not celebrated a win in New York since August 16, 2007.
”Our team goes out and gives us six runs against a guy like Nova tonight, you’ve got to make that work.
“It wasn’t easy out there. It was cold and everything, but man, they battled. It’s a shame we didn’t win.”
Trailing 6-5 going into the eighth, Rodriguez scored on Mark Teixeira’s sacrifice fly to tie the score.
Jeter then drew a one-out walk in the ninth, took third on a wild pitch from Tigers reliever Brayan Villarreal then raced home with the winning run on a passed ball.
“As much as I’d like to say that was great baserunning tonight, basically all I had to do is run,” Jeter told reporters.
“But that’s how you win games sometimes... being aggressive. We caught a break.”
The Tigers played without slugger Delmon Young, who was charged with a hate crime for allegedly yelling anti-Semitic remarks during a scuffle with tourists outside a hotel near Times Square earlier on Friday.
Reporting by Steve Keating in Toronto; Editing by Greg Stutchbury/John O'Brien