Three stars for Yankees in series win over Tigers

08/08/2014 9:49 AM ET
By Brian DiMenna
The Yankees welcomed the Tigers to the Stadium, and were forced to face the past three AL Cy Young winners in succession, as Detroit brought in its deep and menacing starting rotation to the Bronx. New York responded by winning three of the four games, with their patch-work rotation stepping up to equal that of the more-heralded Tigers.

Brian McCann: 3 for 13 (.231), 2 HR, 4 RBI

Brian McCann played in only three of the four games and collected just three hits in the series win. But, boy, did he make them count. Of McCann's three hits, each one drove in at least one run, and two of them were for home runs, as McCann homered off David Price in New York's lone loss, before belting another home run on Wednesday night to power the Yankees' second win.

The Yankees catcher now has 13 home runs on the season, including one in each of his last two starts, and has begun to put his early season struggles behind him. McCann has also chipped in at first base to help spell Mark Teixeira and is quickly becoming the kind of clubhouse leader that inspired New York to hand him a lucrative contract offer this offseason.

Chris Capuano: 6.2 innings, 1 R, 0 ER, 8 K's, 1 BB

Facing the dominant Detroit rotation, the Yankees knew they would need special performances from their own rotation. Making just his third start for the Yankees, Chris Capuano stepped up to match Justin Verlander pitch for pitch in Wednesday night's crucial win. Capuano struck out a season-high eight batters, limiting Detroit to just one unearned run in the victory.

Joe Girardi heaped praise on his pitcher after the game, saying, "I've seen him (Capuano) do this before and that was one of the reasons we went and got him. If I'm not mistaken, he did it to us last year here. He does know how to pitch, and he gave us a great performance tonight."

Shane Greene: 8.0 IP, 5 H, 0 ER, 5 K's

This has certainly not been the starting rotation the Yankees envisioned when they broke camp this spring. But with injuries to CC Sabathia, Ivan Nova, Michael Pineda and then Masahiro Tanaka, New York has done a remarkable job in turning up talent to help bridge the gap. Perhaps the biggest surprise has been Shane Greene, who turned in his finest performance of the season to help the Yankees steal the series finale.

Greene out-pitched Detroit's Rick Porcello, authoring a gem in New York's 1-0 win. With his eight-plus scoreless innings, Greene lowered his season ERA to 2.89, and is beginning to make everyone in New York take notice of his abilities. The right-hander's efforts have earned him the trust of his manager, who sent him out for the ninth to see if he could finish off the shutout. "To be able to continue to pound the strike zone with quality pitches. That's impressive," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said of Greene.

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