Yanks Short Hops: Game 2 slips away

Yanks Short Hops: Game 2 slips away

NEW YORK -- Fielding the Yankees' Game 2 loss to the Tigers on a short hop ...

In < 25 words ...
The vaunted Yankees' lineup looked feeble against the Tigers. Bobby Abreu, Gary Sheffield, Jason Giambi and Alex Rodriguez went 1-for-14 with seven strikeouts.

Frozen moment
The Yankees had rookie pitcher Justin Verlander on the ropes a bit in the first inning and had the bases loaded with two outs and Rodriguez at the plate, but A-Rod was called out on strikes on a 1-2 curve.

Big number
One. Johnny Damon's three-run home run was the Yankees' only hit in eight at-bats with runners on base over the first four innings. They stranded six baserunners during that span.

Game balls (out of five)
Damon, three. Reached the right-field upper deck with a three-run homer off a 1-0 pitch from Verlander in the fourth.

Brian Bruney, two. Looked impressive with two strikeouts and a pepper shot in retiring the Tigers in order in the ninth inning.

Hideki Matsui, two. The left fielder didn't show much power, but at least he got on base three times with singles.

Sense of October
Wednesday night's storms affected a weather change with temperatures dropping into the 50's and winds swirling up to 20 mph. The climate was more fitting with autumn in New York than the mild, humid conditions two days ago. The day game under bright sunshine brought the traditional postseason obstacle at the Stadium for left fielders staring into the glare as the sun descends in the late innings.

Lines of the game
Hitting:
Damon

5 AB, 1 R, 2 H, 1 HR, 3 RBIs
Comment: Damon's first postseason home run for the Yankees landed in the same deck his grand slam off Javier Vazquez did in his two-homer, six-RBI Game 7 of the 2004 AL Championship Series for the Red Sox.

Pitching
Mussina

7 IP, 8 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 0 BB, 5 K, 1 WP, 1 HR

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Comment: Given a 3-1 lead in the fourth, the right-hander was stung for extra-base hits by Marcus Thames (double in fifth, scored on sacrifice fly), Carlos Guillen (home run in sixth) and Curtis Granderson (run-scoring triple in seventh) and was hurt by the wild pitch in the fifth and a passed ball by catcher Jorge Posada in the seventh.

Next step
The Yankees will try to regain the lead in the series as it moves to Detroit's Comerica Park, where they won three of four games during the regular season and hope Randy Johnson's back holds up.

Spoken
"It's not easy coming into this ballpark as a young player to perform the way they did." -- Joe Torre on the performances of Tigers rookies Justin Verlander and Joel Zumaya

Jack O'Connell is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.