Cards rally against Lee, even series
Albert Pujols hit a go-ahead single in the seventh inning after Cliff Lee blew a four-run lead, and the Cardinals rallied past the Philadelphia Phillies 5-4 Sunday night to even their NL playoff matchup at one game each.
Down early, Jay jolted Philadelphia’s catcher on a bruising play at the plate. Jay was out, ending the fourth inning. The Phillies, however, couldn’t block the Cardinals’ path to victory.
The NLDS shifts to St. Louis for Game 3 on Tuesday. Cole Hamels will be the third straight All-Star pitcher to face the Cardinals, who’ll send Jaime Garcia to the mound.
The wild-card Cardinals, who got into the postseason only after the Phillies beat Atlanta in Game 162, got the split they were looking for on the road against the team that had the best record in the majors.
Lee hardly looked like the guy who used to be so dominant in the postseason. He gave up five runs and 12 hits, striking out nine in six-plus innings, to lose his third straight playoff start.
Pitching on three days’ rest for the first time in his career, Chris Carpenter struggled for the Cardinals.
But one reliever after another did the job for manager Tony La Russa.
Six Cardinals relievers combined to toss six shutout innings, allowing just one hit. Jason Motte finished for a four-out save.
-- Tigers 5, Yankees 3—Jose Valverde and the Detroit Tigers nearly let this one slip away.
Instead, they’re on solid footing with ace Justin Verlander set to start back home at Comerica Park.
The Tigers and their excitable closer somehow held off the Yankees’ furious rain-soaked rally in the ninth inning and Detroit beat New York 5-3 on Sunday, evening their best-of-five AL playoff series at one game apiece.
Down 5-1, the Yankees scored twice in the ninth and had a chance to win it after Detroit catcher Alex Avila lost his balance on the slick on-deck circle while chasing Curtis Granderson’s two-out foul popup.
After his pop landed untouched, Granderson walked. With two on, Robinson Cano came to the plate.
Cano, who hit a grand slam and had six RBIs as the Yankees won the opener, hit a routine groundball to end it.
“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,” Tigers manager Jim Leyland said. “But it worked out OK.”
Tigers starter Max Scherzer pitched no-hit ball into the sixth before Cano blooped an opposite-field single to left.
Miguel Cabrera’s two-run homer in the first off Freddy Garcia gave Scherzer an early edge, and the Tigers took a 4-0 lead into the eighth.
Last updated: 6:48 pm Thursday, December 13, 2012