Alex Avila's 12th-inning home run gave the Detroit Tigers a 4-3 victory over the New York Yankees Monday night. Avila launched a 1-0 pitch off Matt Daley (L: 0-1, 5.02 ERA) into the right-center field bleachers to give the Tigers their fifth win in their last seven games.
His home run (8) was not the only big moment for the Tigers catcher. Avila singled home Victor Martinez in the top of the seventh to tie the game at 3-3.
Martinez drove in Rajai Davis on a sacrifice fly in the first for the game's first run.
Brian McCann tied it with a solo shot (12) in the bottom of the second. New York then took the lead next inning when Jacoby Ellsbury doubled home Brendan Ryan. Martin Prado homered (6) in the fifth to extend the lead to 3-1. That was the last run the Yankees would score.
Andrew Romine brought the Tigers to within a run at 3-2 with a solo shot (2) of his own. Avila then took over in the seventh.
Lost in Avila's heroics -- but not in the mind of manager Brad Ausmus - was the brilliant performance of David Price in his Tigers debut. Price allowed three runs on eight hits in 8.2 innings. He allowed those runs early but settled in to strike out 10 Yankees without walking any, giving his offense a chance to complete the comeback.
Hiorki Kuroda was just as effective for New York. Kiroda pitched seven strong innings of three-run, six-hit ball. He struck out five and walked none.
Tigers outfielder Torii Hunter left in the ninth after getting hit on the hand with a Dellin Betances fastball. Initial X-rays were negative, but he has a hand contusion and is day-to-day says MLB.com's Jamal Collier.
Detroit maintains a 4.5-game lead over the Kansas City Royals, who also won Tuesday, in the A.L. Central. Meanwhile, New York drops to 6.0 games behind the Baltimore Orioles in the A.L. East. However, they remain one game behind Toronto and a half-game behind Kansas City for the second A.L. Wild Card.