DETROIT — Jacoby Ellsbury turned as if to start his swing and then crumpled to the ground after David Price’s pitch caught him square in the chest.
With temperatures in the 30s in downtown Detroit, this was no way to begin the game. “It felt like a frozen snowball or something, going at 93,” Ellsbury said.
Ellsbury shook off the pain and went to first base, and Price’s problems were only beginning. The New York Yankees scored six runs off him in the first inning amid swirling snow flurries, and they went on to a 13-4 rout of the Detroit Tigers on April 22.
Price (1-1) allowed eight runs and 10 hits in 2 1-3 innings, his second straight terrible start against the Yankees. Detroit has lost back-to-back games for the first time this season.
Price said he stayed in the dugout after being pulled, instead of retreating to the warmth of the Detroit clubhouse.
“You throw the ball as bad as I did and you give up more runs than you get outs, you don’t deserve to come up here,” Price said. “That’s why I stayed out there.”
Adam Warren (1-1) allowed four runs in the bottom of the first, walking four of the first five batters he faced, but he was fine after that. He ended up allowing five hits in 5 2-3 innings, and New York kept padding its lead.
Mark Teixeira homered for the Yankees (8-7), who moved above .500 for the first time this year.
Gregorio Petit hit a three-run double during that first inning, when Price threw 51 pitches on a 38-degree night at Comerica Park.
“I’m sure I was warmer than the players,” New York Manager Joe Girardi said. “I can wear as much as I want. I don’t have to really worry about moving too much. It was a chilly night. You’re watching snow in the first inning. … Our guys handled it well.”
Price allowed eight runs in the third inning of a game against the Yankees last August. They jumped on him from the start.
The Detroit left-hander hit Ellsbury to start the game, and Brian McCann later opened the scoring with a bases-loaded single.
Price struck out Carlos Beltran for the second out, but Chase Headley followed with an RBI single, and Petit’s bases-clearing double made it 5-0.
Ellsbury added a run-scoring single before Price finally got Chris Young — the 11th batter of the inning — on a flyout.
While all that was going on, snow flurries in downtown Detroit intensified a bit, making for an unusual spectacle of white flakes drifting around above the field.
“It was tough,” Warren said. “I think you just kind of have to learn how to pitch out there and find a way to get some feeling in your hands and on the ball.”
The snow went away after a while, and the Tigers went through their whole batting order in the bottom of the first.
Warren issued a bases-loaded walk to J.D. Martinez, and after Yoenis Cespedes hit an RBI single, Nick Castellanos brought another run in by grounding into a force play.
Alex Avila’s run-scoring single made it 6-4, but Jose Iglesias popped out to end the inning. It was the first time both teams sent at least nine men to the plate in the same inning since Sept. 28, 2014, according to STATS. The Yankees and Boston Red Sox did it in the seventh that day.
(NOAH TRISTER, AP Baseball Writer)