DETROIT – The winter-like weather finally froze the Yankees’ bats.
The Bombers had little trouble scoring runs during their three-game set at a frigid Yankee Stadium, but Jordan Zimmermann shut them down Friday at Comerica Park, leading the Tigers to a 4-0 win in Detroit’s home opener on a 38-degree afternoon.
Zimmerman held the Yankees (2-2) to two hits over seven innings, not allowing a runner beyond first base until a wild pitch moved Mark Teixeira to second base in the seventh.
“He pitched really well today and just kind of silenced our bats,” Teixeira said. “Today was actually a nice day compared to what we’re going to see the next few days and what we had Opening Day.”
Jordan Zimmermann shut down the Yankees, who combined for 27 runs in their three-game series against the Astros.
Saturday’s forecast in Detroit calls for temperatures in the high 20s around game time with the chance of snow, while Sunday night will be in the 30s with a mix of snow and rain likely.
The cold didn’t impact the Yankees on Wednesday or Thursday, when they scored 24 runs in two games against the Astros. They came into Friday’s matinee leading the American League with 27 runs scored, but the quick turnaround from Thursday’s 4:05 p.m. game to Friday’s 1:10 start prompted Joe Girardi to rest both Alex Rodriguez and Carlos Beltran, while Brian McCann got the day off after catching all three games against Houston.
“I’m not running out a bunch of 25, 26-year-old kids,” Girardi said before the game, and following the loss, the manager stuck to his guns despite the result.
Luis Severino gave up 10 hits in five innings, but he got no support from the offense.
“Everyone asked me all about last year, guys got fatigued at the end of the year. What really made me do this was, we got in late, we played three days in a row, it’s early in the season, you’ve got 39- and 41-years old. I’ve got to manage them. Mac caught three days in a row, another short turnaround. It’s not ideally what you want to do, but it was kind of a product of (Monday’s) rainout.”
Luis Severino allowed three runs on 10 hits over five-plus innings, striking out five without issuing a walk. The 22-year-old could have received more help from his defense, which turned three potential outs into hits, but the way Zimmermann handcuffed the Yankees’ lineup, it likely wouldn’t have mattered.
“I thought he pitched better than the numbers indicated,” Girardi said. “They seemed to foul off some pitches and put the ball in play and find some holes on him.”
None of the Yankees’ first four starters have gotten through six full innings yet.
“It’s something we have to deal with,” Girardi said. “You have to try to get more out of them.”
Miguel Cabrera’s first-inning RBI single put Detroit on the board, the game’s only run through the first three innings. Cabrera added a solo homer in the seventh against Luis Cessa, who made his big-league debut.
Miguel Cabrera added a solo home run to his RBI single, which provided more than enough runs for the Tigers.
Zimmermann, who signed a five-year, $ 110 million deal with the Tigers this winter, put a runner on base in each of the first four innings but quickly worked out of each frame.
Severino had received some defensive help from Aaron Hicks in the bottom of the third as the right fielder stole an extra-base hit from Cabrera with a diving catch in right-center, preventing a probable run.
But the defense failed Severino the next inning when Ellsbury misplayed what appeared to be a routine J.D. Martinez fly ball, putting a runner on base with one out instead of Severino pitching with the bases empty and two out.
Aaron Hicks prevented a probable run with a diving catch.
“It kind of just died out,” Ellsbury said. “I don’t know if it knuckled, it just went straight down. Unfortunately I didn’t have enough time to recover on it.”
Nick Castellanos followed with a single, then James McCann reached on an infield hit to load the bases. Jose Iglesias singled in a run and Anthony Gose brought another home with a fielder’s choice, stretching the Tigers’ lead to 3-0.
“I think I was throwing the ball good,” Severino said. “I missed a couple of pitches and I paid for that.”
Zimmermann had little trouble making the lead stand up, retiring the Yankees in order in the fifth and sixth. He walked Teixeira with one out in the seventh, but retired the next two batters to preserve the shutout before two relievers finished it off.
“He seemed to be ahead in the count a lot today,” Girardi said. “I thought he used his slider to both sides of the plate really well and his fastball up in the zone. We just didn’t get much going off him.”