Mussina struggles as Yanks tripped

Guillen's grand slam helps Detroit to win in series opener
08/16/2007 10:31 PM ET
By Bryan Hoch /

Mussina has struggled lately. (AP)
NEW YORK -- Carlos Guillen hit a first-inning grand slam to lead Detroit's barrage over Mussina and the Yankees, slugging out an 8-5 decision in the first meeting between the two clubs since Game 4 of last year's American League Division Series.

Mussina was in trouble from the beginning of a five-inning performance, allowing the big blow to Guillen with one out in the first inning. The home run, Guillen's 15th, cleared the wall in right-center field and dug a large hole for the Yankees, who already faced an uphill climb with Tigers right-hander Justin Verlander on the hill.

New York chipped away with a run in the first inning and two in the third, as Hideki Matsui stroked an RBI single and Bobby Abreu connected on a two-run homer -- his 24th. That was all the Yankees would manage against Verlander, who scattered seven hits over 5 1/3 innings, walking one and striking out two in a 119-pitch effort.

Trying for his fifth consecutive victory, Mussina faded in and out of command, particularly in the first two innings. He finished the second inning with 50 pitches and six runs on the board -- including damage done by run-scoring hits off the bats of Brandon Inge and Magglio Ordonez.

In the fifth, Sean Casey came through with an RBI single for the final run off Mussina, who was charged with seven runs (six earned), allowing nine hits while walking two and striking out two. Ivan Rodriguez slugged a solo homer off left-hander Ron Villone in the seventh, completing Detroit's scoring.

Matsui added a two-out RBI single in the ninth and Jorge Posada blooped in another as the Yanks tried to mount a rally. comments