for this game

Cano powers Yankees past Tigers in Game 1

Oct 2, 2011 - 4:52 AM Bronx, NY (Sports Network) - The rain stayed away from Yankee Stadium on Saturday night, and Robinson Cano shined with a grand slam and six RBI in New York's 9-3 victory over the Detroit Tigers in Game 1 of their American League Division Series.

The first game of this best-of-five series got started on Friday night, with aces CC Sabathia and Justin Verlander on the mound for their respective clubs.

A Delmon Young homer and Alex Rodriguez RBI groundout in the first inning had the game tied at 1-1. But a steady rain forced the tarp to come on the field before the bottom of the second started. After waiting for over an hour, MLB decided to suspend play until Saturday.

Rookie Ivan Nova was magnificent on the mound for the Yankees, who are back in the postseason for the 16th time in the last 17 years after winning their 12th American League East title over that span.

Nova (1-0), who was 16-4 this season with a 3.70 ERA, was charged with two runs on four hits over 6 1/3 innings. He struck out five and walked four. Almost nobody could have predicted Nova winning Game 1 of the ALDS for the Yankees, considering he spent some time in the minors this season.

"He almost allowed us to not use our bullpen at all. I love what he did today," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said.

The Tigers, who won their first-ever American League Central title, while claiming their first division crown since winning the 1987 AL East, turned to Doug Fister (0-1) on Saturday. The right-hander, who went 8-1 with a 1.79 ERA in 11 games (10 starts) after being picked up from Seattle, gave up six runs on seven hits over 4 2/3 innings.

Game 2 of this series will now take place on Sunday at 3:07 p.m. (et). New York's Freddy Garcia will go against the Tigers' Max Scherzer.

Cano broke a 1-1 tie in the fifth. With two outs, Curtis Granderson singled to right. Cano stepped to the plate and crushed a 1-1 pitch to deep left field. The ball hit off the top of the wall to score a run. The play was reviewed to see if it was a homer, but the call on the field held up.

New York blew the game open in the sixth, thanks to Cano's grand slam. Mark Teixeira got the frame started with a double off the wall in left. Jorge Posada walked two batters later. Russell Martin's groundout put men on second and third with two outs. Brett Gardner followed with a two-run single to right. Derek Jeter singled and Granderson walked to load the bases.

Fister was replaced on the mound by Al Alburquerque. Cano stepped to the plate and crushed a slider into the second deck in right for an 8-1 lead.

"I really thought he pitched very, very well," Tigers manager Jim Leyland said of Fister. "The numbers won't look like that because of the grand slam."

Cano added an RBI double in the eighth to make it 9-1.

Nova had some trouble putting the game away in the ninth. Young singled, Miguel Cabrera walked and Victor Martinez singled to load the bases with one out. Luis Ayala took over on the mound. Alex Avila grounded into an RBI fielder's choice and Ryan Raburn hit a run-scoring single.

After Jhonny Peralta singled to load the bases again, all-time saves leader Mariano Rivera was brought in from the bullpen. Wilson Betemit struck out swinging to end the game.

On Friday, Young homered off Sabathia in the top of the first inning to give the Tigers an early lead.

But the Yankees tied the game in the home half. Jeter struck out, but advanced to first on Verlander's wild pitch. Granderson followed with a walk. The runners advanced a base on Cano's groundout. Rodriguez followed with an RBI groundout to make it 1-1.

Sabathia retired the side in order in the top of the second before play was suspended.

New York had a chance to go in front when play resumed on Saturday night. Fister got off to a rocky start, giving up a single to Posada and double to Martin. Gardner followed with a grounder to third baseman Brandon Inge, who caught Posada between third and home. Inge tagged out Posada for the first out. A balk moved the runners to second and third, but Fister struck out Jeter and Granderson to keep it 1-1.

Nova was cruising on the mound for the Yankees, retiring the first seven batters he faced. Avila brought that streak to end with a one-out walk in the fifth. Raburn followed with a single to put men on first and second. Avila tried to score on Peralta's single up the middle, but was thrown out at the plate. Pinch-hitter Betemit flied out to keep it tied.

Game Notes

The Tigers, who beat the Yankees in four games in the 2006 ALDS en route to an AL pennant, also took four of seven from the Yanks during this season after the two teams split the eight-game season series a year ago...Nova threw 62 of his 101 pitches for strikes...Cano (3-for-5) tied the Yankees postseason franchise record with 6RBI. He is the fourth player to accomplish the feat, joining Hideki Matsui (2009 World Series Game 6 vs. Philadelphia), Bernie Williams (1999 ALDS Game 1 vs. Texas) and Bobby Richardson (1960 World Series Game 3 vs. Pittsburgh). Cano hit his seventh career postseason home run and first career postseason grand slam...The Yankees have now won seven straight Division Series games, the longest ALDS winning streak all time...Saturday's paid attendance of 50,940 was the largest single-game attendance in the three- year history of the current Yankee Stadium.