DETROIT — Nathan Eovaldi made a small adjustment before the April 21 night’s start against the Detroit Tigers. He’s going to stick with it.
Eovaldi (1-0) allowed one run on eight hits and a walk in seven-plus innings to pick up his first win with the New York Yankees in a 5-2 victory over the Tigers.
“I moved my arm a little closer to my body in my last bullpen (session), and I was able to keep it there for most of the game,” he said. “It really helped my command.”
Eovaldi was helped by four New York double plays, one of which he started himself. With a runner on first in the second inning, Eovaldi made a blind snag of Yoenis Cespedes’ line drive, then got to the tricky part of the play.
“I didn’t realize how much time I had, and I almost threw the ball away,” he said. “I gator-armed it, but (Mark Teixeira) saved me by digging it out.”
The Tigers scored a run in the ninth when Andrew Miller walked Nick Castellanos and Rajai Davis to force in a run, but Miller struck out Jose Iglesias to pick up his fifth save.
“I need to be better than that, but it ended up with a win,” Miller said. “I wasn’t missing by much, so I’m not worried about it.”
Kyle Lobstein (1-1) took the loss, allowing one run on three hits and four walks in six innings. “I would like to throw more strikes than that, try and get deeper in the game,” he said. “But overall I was able to make some pitches to get out of some jams.”
Four Tigers relievers combined to allow three runs in the seventh, letting the Yankees pull away.
“We were pretty sloppy in that inning,” Tigers Manager Brad Ausmus said. “You can’t go 1-0 and 2-0 on every single hitter.”
New York took a 1-0 lead in the first inning on Teixeira’s RBI double, but the game quickly turned into a duel between Lobstein and Eovaldi.
The Yankees added a pair of insurance runs with a pair of solo homers in the seventh. Chris Young led off with his fourth off Ian Krol’s 3-1 pitch, and Stephen Drew hit a 2-0 pitch for his fourth two batters later.
Later in the seventh, Jacoby Ellsbury scored on a wild pitch by Al Alburquerque, Detroit’s third pitcher of the inning.
Detroit made it 4-1 in the bottom of the inning on Cespedes’ sacrifice fly.
Alex Rodriguez nearly hit his 659th career homer in the ninth, but Cespedes made the catch at the wall in left-centerfield. Two batters later, Castellanos’ error allowed Brett Gardner to score New York’s fifth run.