2006_09_syankeeslogo.jpgA lack of timely hitting and a devastating Detroit bullpen combined to defeat the Yankees 4-3 on Thursday. New York had plenty of opportunities against Justin Verlander, pounding seven hits and drawing four walks over the first five-plus innings, but apart from Johnny Damon’s three-run homer, they could not deliver the big blow.

After Verlander ran the count to 1-1 against Robinson Cano in the sixth, Jim Leyland pulled him and brought in Jamie Walker with a runner on. Walker got Cano to hit into a double play and the Tiger’s bullpen proceeded to retire seven-consecutive Yankees before Hideki Matsui led off the ninth with a single.

New York opted to forgo the bunt and swing away and after Todd Jones struck out Jorge Posada, he got Robinson Cano to fly out after eight pitches. That left Damon up with a chance for some real magic, but he popped up to short-center and Detroit had the victory.

The series now heads back to Detroit with Randy Johnson facing Kenny Rogers in the pivotal Game Three.