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Jeter capped off his 5-for-5 night Tuesday with a HR in N.Y.'s 8-4 win.


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Jeter (5-5), Abreu (4 RBI) lift Yankees past Tigers



NEW YORK (AP) -- Derek Jeter and the rest of the modern-day Murderers' Row overwhelmed the young Detroit Tigers, getting the New York Yankees off to a quick start in the first round of the AL playoffs.


Jeter tied the postseason record for hits, going 5-for-5 with a home run to lead New York over Detroit 8-4 Tuesday night in its postseason opener.


Bobby Abreu had a two-run double and Jason Giambi hit a two-run homer in the third as New York's big boppers staked Chien-Ming Wang to a 5-0 lead. The five-run burst started, however, with something small -- Johnny Damon's slow roller for a single.


After the Tigers crawled within two runs, Abreu added a two-run single in the sixth and Jeter hit his 17th postseason home run in the eighth.


Six of New York's seven RBI came from Abreu and Giambi, surprising given that Nate Robertson held lefties to a .181 average during the regular season, the best among AL pitchers. Giambi was on base four times, also getting hit by pitches twice and walking.


New York's lineup, now that everyone's healthy, poses a mighty challenge for opposing pitchers. All nine starters are current or former All-Stars. Robinson Cano became the first player to ever start a postseason game batting ninth after finishing among the top three in his league in batting, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.


Alex Rodriguez, the reigning AL MVP, was dropped to sixth in the order, his lowest slot since Seattle batted him eighth on May 7, 1996, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. He was a quiet 1-for-4, extending his streak of postseason games without an RBI to nine and his playoff slump to 5-for-36 (.139) over his last 10 postseason games.


Wang, a 26-year-old right-hander who rose through the Yankees' rotation to become their ace this year, didn't have his best sinker but got the win by allowing three runs in 6 2-3 innings. Of the eight hits off him, five were doubles and one was a home run, a drive by Craig Monroe that started Detroit's three-run fifth.


Curtis Granderson added a solo homer in the seventh off Mike Myers, who faced just one batter. Scott Proctor got Magglio Ordonez to pop out with runners at the corners, Kyle Farnsworth threw six straight balls starting the eighth but got out of it without a hit, and Mariano Rivera finished.


New York won its third straight postseason series opener. Mike Mussina (15-7) tries to give the Yankees a 2-0 lead in the best-of-five series when he starts on Wednesday night against Justin Verlander (17-9).


While the Yankees are in the postseason for the 12th straight year, Detroit played its first playoff game since the 1987 AL championship series. It marked the return to the postseason of manager Jim Leyland, who guided Florida to the 1997 World Series title and in his first season in Detroit turned around a Tigers team that had endured 12 consecutive losing seasons.


Before the usual gaggle of celebrities (Patrick Ewing), politicians (Mayor Michael Bloomberg) and billionaires (Donald Trump), Damon's little hit started off the third.


In a 3-for-30 slide at the end of the season, Damon hit a bouncer between the mound and first. Robertson came off the mound quickly but failed to turn his glove for a backhand, and it rolled by for a single.


Jeter fell behind 0-2, then worked the count full and, with Damon running, lined the ball to left-center for a double. Abreu followed with a double to right-center for a 2-0 lead, extending his arm in excitement after he connected for his first postseason RBI.


Leyland went out to the mound to speak with Robertson, but it didn't stop the onslaught. Gary Sheffield lined a single to center on the next to make it 3-0 and Giambi reached down to muscle a 1-2 pitch over the right-field wall, his seventh postseason homer. Rodriguez singled, prompting Jason Grilli to start warming up, but Robertson recovered to retire the next three batters.


Detroit closed to 5-3 in the fifth, when Monroe homered to center leading off, and Placido Polanco and Sean Casey hit two-out RBI doubles. With Brian Bruney starting to get loose in the bullpen, Wang struck out Ordonez.


Abreu added a two-run single in the sixth, pulling the ball between first and second, just past a diving Polanco at second. Polanco was sidelined from mid-August until the last 10 days of the regular season by a separated left shoulder, rolled over the injured shoulder while trying to knock down the ball on the outfield grass.


Jeter homered to center in the eighth off Jamie Walker to cap off his big night.


Wang wiggled out of trouble after allowing leadoff doubles in the second and third innings. After Ordonez doubled leading off the second and Carlos Guillen walked, Ivan Rodriguez faked a bunt on the first pitch and Ordonez was caught stealing third on the next, a missed hit-and-run. Rodriguez struck out and Monroe grounded out.


Marcus Thames got a double in the second, with left fielder Hideki Matsui failed to charge a ball that bounced off the wall in foul territory, apparently thinking a fan had touched it. Granderson's one-out single to right put runners at the corners -- with Thames not testing Abreu's arm -- and Polanco bounced into a 6-4-3 double play, with Sheffield stretching like a first-base veteran for Robinson Cano's relay.


Game notes

Bob Sheppard worked the public-address microphone for the 120th consecutive postseason game at Yankee Stadium, a streak dating to 1951




Abreu, Jeter lead way in Game 1 win

10/03/2006 11:38 PM ET

By Mark Feinsand / MLB.com


NEW YORK -- When Bobby Abreu arrived in the Bronx at the beginning of August, he re-energized a Yankees offense that had been struggling to find consistency.

Tuesday night, Abreu kicked off his first pinstriped postseason in the same fashion, sparking the Yankees to an 8-4 victory over the Tigers in Game 1 of the American League Division Series.


Abreu went 2-for-5 with four RBIs, collecting key two-run hits in both the third and sixth innings. He got some help from Derek Jeter, who continued to be the Yankees' new Mr. October, going 5-for-5 with a solo home run and three runs scored. Jason Giambi also contributed with a two-run homer.


Chien-Ming Wang didn't have his best stuff, but the sinkerballer managed to give New York 6 2/3 effective innings, holding Detroit to three runs, all of which came in a rocky fifth inning.


The Yankees lead the best-of-five series, 1-0, with Game 2 scheduled for Wednesday night at Yankee Stadium. Mike Mussina starts for New York, while Justin Verlander gets the nod for Detroit.


New York snapped a scoreless tie in the third, hammering starter Nate Robertson for five runs. Johnny Damon singled and Jeter doubled, setting up Abreu's two-run double to right. Gary Sheffield added an RBI single before Giambi drilled a two-run shot, his seventh career postseason homer.


The Tigers fought back with three runs in the fifth, getting a solo homer by Craig Monroe to open the inning and RBI doubles by Placido Polanco and Sean Casey. Wang struck out Magglio Ordonez, who represented the tying run, to end the inning.


With two outs in the sixth, Damon singled and Jeter doubled, putting two runners in scoring position for Abreu. This time, Abreu poked a single past Polanco in the hole at second, scoring both runners to boost the lead to 7-3.


Wang retired the first two batters in the seventh before being removed by manager Joe Torre, as he walked off the mound to a standing ovation from the sellout crowd of 56,291, tipping his cap as he approached the Yankees' dugout.


Mike Myers served up a solo home run to Curtis Granderson, the only batter he would face. Scott Proctor allowed a pair of singles, bringing Ordonez to the plate once again as the tying run, but Proctor got Ordonez to fly out to center, preserving the three-run lead.


Kyle Farnsworth survived a leadoff walk in the eighth, retiring the next three batters. Jeter extended the lead to four runs with his 17th career postseason homer, while Mariano Rivera closed it out with a scoreless ninth.


This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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