Tigers win ALCS, advance to World Series

5:48 PM, Oct 18, 2012   |    comments
(Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)
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John Perrotto, Special for USA TODAY Sports

DETROIT -- The New York Yankees hadn't been swept in a best-of-seven postseason in 36 years and the Detroit Tigers finished off the job in emphatic fashion Thursday afternoon.

Johnny Peralta hit two of the Tigers' four home runs to spark a 16-hit attack and a dominant Max Scherzer took a no-hitter into the sixth inning as the Detroit routed the Yankees 8-1 in Game 4 of the American League Championship Series at Comerica Park.

The Tigers advance to the World Series for the first time since 2006 -- when they also had a sweep in the ALCS, polishing off the Oakland Athletics -- and will open next Wednesday night on the road against either the National League champions, either the St. Louis Cardinals or San Francisco Giants.

The Tigers became just the fifth team to never trail in a postseason series. One of those teams was the 1963 Los Angeles Dodgers, who swept the Yankees in the World Series.

It was the worst October beating the Yankees had taken since the 1976 Cincinnati Reds downed them in four straight in the World Series. The 1981 Kansas City Royals were the last team to sweep the Yankees in the postseason, taking the ALCS in three games in what was then a best-of-five affair.

The Tigers battered Yankees ace CC Sabathia for six runs -- five earned -- and 11 hits in 3 2/3 innings. The big left-hander had been undefeated in his previous eight starts, going 4-0 with a 3.97 ERA.

It was Sabathia's shortest start -- not including those affected by injury or weather -- since he lasted just 2 2/3 innings and gave up nine runs on Oct. 2, 2009 at Tampa Bay.

Scherzer, armed with a 6-0 lead, gave up his first hit when Eduardo Nunez hit a leadoff triple in the sixth then scored on Nick Swisher's double. That was the only run the Yankees got as Scherzer allowed only one run and two hits while striking out 10 in his 5 2/3-inning outing.

Scherzer has gone 7-1 with 1.90 ERA in his last 10 starts at Comerica Park.

Tigers starting pitcher allowed just two earned runs in 27 innings in the series for a 0.67 ERA.

Relievers Drew Smyly, Octavio Dotel and Phil Coke finished the two-hitter.

Delmon Young and rookie Avisail Garcia hit RBI singles in the first and third inning to stake the Tigers to a 2-0 lead then Detroit chased Sabathia during a four-run fourth that included two-run home runs by Triple Crown winner Miguel Cabrera, who hit a booming drive into the left-field stands, and Peralta.

The Tigers added two more home runs in the late innings as Austin Jackson connected off Derek Lowe in the seventh and Peralta took David Robertson deep in the eighth to push the lead to 8-1.

Andy Dirks was 3-for-4 and one of seven players in the Tigers' lineup to finish with multiple hits. The 16 hits were a club record for a postseason game.


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