DETROIT — For the third time in less than a week, Detroit’s starting pitcher was pulled early, the game already just about lost.
This rough outing was particularly surprising because it came from star left-hander David Price. “I’ve had bad games before. Not that bad,” Price said. “That was probably the worst game I’ve ever had in my life.”
The New York Yankees chased Price with nine straight hits in the third inning, beating the Tigers 8-4 on Aug. 27. New York scored all eight of its runs in the third off Price, who had pitched a one-hitter in his previous start.
“Sometimes it just happens. The game doesn’t always make sense,” New York Manager Joe Girardi said. “He’s as good as it gets, and we were able to hit some balls in the holes, and it worked out.”
Jacoby Ellsbury started the barrage, and New York went all the way through the batting order until the 2012 AL Cy Young Award winner was pulled after the ninth hit of the inning.
Rookie Shane Greene (4-1) allowed two runs and five hits in seven innings, struck out eight and walked one for New York.
The Yankees pulled within 2 1/2 games of Seattle for the second AL wild card, while Detroit remained a half-game behind the Mariners. The Tigers fell 2 1/2 games behind first-place Kansas City in the AL Central.
Victor Martinez homered for Detroit.
Detroit spot starters Robbie Ray and Buck Farmer were knocked out of the game in the second inning of starts last week, but Price had been solid since the Tigers acquired the left-hander from Tampa Bay at last month’s trade deadline.
Price pitched out of jams in the first and second inningy, but there was no escaping the third. Ellsbury led off with a single and scored on Derek Jeter’s double. Martin Prado added a single, and Mark Teixeira followed with a double that made it 2-0.
New York added five more singles — by Carlos Beltran, Brian McCann, Chase Headley, Brett Gardner and Francisco Cervelli. Not every ball was hit hard, but by the time reliever Blaine Hardy replaced Price, it was 6-0 and the bases were still loaded.
“When you are watching that, and he’s facing the bottom of the order, you are thinking that’s he’s going to get a double play and then get out of the inning and then he’ll be rolling,” Tigers Manager Brad Ausmus said. “But it didn’t happen, and he was starting to run out of gas.”
Price (12-10) was the first pitcher who allowed nine straight hits in a game since Houston’s Bob Forsch gave up nine against Cincinnati on Aug. 3, 1989, according to STATS.
(NOAH TRISTER, AP Baseball Writer)