Drew Smyly pitched with more nerve and savvy than reasonably expected for a rookie making his fourth big league start. At Yankee Stadium.
The Detroit Tigers lefthander fell behind in the count, then threw curveballs for strikes. He gave up an early home run, then retired 12 of the next 13 batters.
The only real acknowledgment of his inexperience was a quick hook from manager Jim Leyland. Oh, and after the final out, his teammates poured beer over his head in the shower to celebrate his first major league win and the end of their five-game losing streak in a 7-5 win over the Yankees in New York Saturday.
“He really pitched like a veteran pitcher to be honest with you,’’ Leyland said.
Miguel Cabrera homered and drove in three runs and Andy Dirks hit a three-run homer in the first off Freddy Garcia (0-2). Playing Delmon Young’s usual position of left field, Dirks made a pair of nice defensive plays, too, running down balls that looked like extra-base hits off the bat.
Young was placed on the restricted list earlier Saturday to be evaluated under baseball’s employee assistance program. He was arrested early Friday on a hate crime harassment charge following an encounter at his hotel during which police say he yelled anti-Semitic epithets and appeared intoxicated.
Smyly (1-0) gave up a leadoff single to Alex Rodriguez in the seventh and Leyland pulled him immediately for lefty Phil Coke rather than have him face the rest of the Yankees lineup a third time. Coke got Mark Teixeira to hit into a 1-6-3 double play. Smyly finished allowing two hits and two walks in six-plus innings. He struck out seven.
Rangers 7, Rays 2 - Colby Lewis (3-0) allowed one run in six innings, Josh Hamilton had a two-run single, and host Texas snapped Tampa Bay’s six-game winning streak. Hamilton went 2 for 3 and now leads the AL with 24 RBIs.
Angels 2, Indians 1 - Dan Haren (1-1) pitched eight strong innings and Torii Hunter hit a solo homer for visiting Los Angeles, which snapped a five-game losing streak. Angels slugger Albert Pujols remained homerless in 21 games to start the season.
Blue Jays 7, Mariners 0 - Brandon Morrow pitched six innings, Edwin Encarnacion hit a grand slam, and host Toronto beat Seattle to snap a four-game losing streak. Morrow (2-1) allowed five hits, walked none, and struck out a season-high nine.
Orioles 10, Athletics 1 - Wei-Yin Chen (2-0) pitched seven strong innings, Chris Davis had four RBIs, Adam Jones and Robert Andino each had three hits, and host Baltimore rolled over Oakland.
Giants 2, Padres 1 - Tim Lincecum (2-2) pitched eight sharp innings in his longest start of the season and Brandon Belt hit a two-run double with two outs in the seventh as host San Francisco beat San Diego.
Dodgers 4, Nationals 3 - Matt Kemp hit his major league-leading 11th home run leading off the 10th inning, lifting Los Angeles past visiting Washington.
Reds 6, Astros 0 - Jay Bruce homered for the third consecutive game and drove in four runs to back Johnny Cueto’s solid effort as host Cincinnati routed Houston.
Cardinals 7, Brewers 3 - Yadier Molina tied his career high by going 4 for 4 with a two-run homer, and Kyle Lohse allowed three runs over six innings to run his record to 4-0 for the first time to power host St. Louis to its third straight victory.
Phillies 5, Cubs 2 - Carlos Ruiz homered and drove in three runs, Joe Blanton (2-3) threw 7 1/3 sharp innings, and Jonathan Papelbon earned his seventh save in as many tries as host Philadelphia held off Chicago.
Pirates 4, Braves 2 - Alex Presley had two hits to extend his career-best hitting streak to 12 games and Erik Bedard (1-4) allowed one run in five innings to lift visiting Pittsburgh.
Marlins 3, Diamondbacks 2 - Hanley Ramirez hit a run-scoring single with two outs in the ninth inning to lift Miami past visiting Arizona and snap a six-game losing streak.
Mets 7, Rockies 5 - Lucas Duda homered and singled to drive in four runs as visiting New York held off Colorado.
The Twins-Royals game in Minneapolis was postponed because of rain and will be made up as part of a day-night doubleheader June 30.