Detroit closing pitcher Jose Valverde held off New York's bid for a ninth-inning rally as the Tigers defeated the Yankees 5-3 to knot their Major League Baseball playoff series at one game each.
Playing a game pushed back a day after rain disrupted the American League first-round series opener on Friday, the Tigers were nearly tripped up by rain again.
The Yankees on Sunday scored twice in the bottom of the ninth to close the deficit and give themselves a chance to win.
Granderson eventually drew a walk and Robinson Cano -- who hit a grand slam and had six RBIs to help the Yankees win game one -- came up with two outs and runners on first and second base, but Valverde was able to induce him to ground out.
"It's a little hard. That's what happens sometimes," Valverde said.
Tigers manager Jim Leland admitted feeling the tension as the Yankees crept closer.
"All of a sudden, against anybody -- but particularly against a team like them with the short porch in right field -- it was not a good feeling," Leyland said. "But it worked out OK."
Detroit starting pitcher Max Scherzer pitched six innings without allowing a hit as the Tigers take the best-of-five series home for games three and four.
Curtis Granderson hit a solo homer off Tigers reliever Joaquin Benoit in the eighth, and shortly after the rain arrived and set the stage for the dramatic finish.
Sunday was supposed to be a rest day in the series, but game one was called on Friday night after just 1 1/2 innings because of heavy rain.
Source: AFP American Edition