for this game

Jeter's five hits lead Yankees over Tigers in ALDS opener

Oct 4, 2006 - 3:48 AM BRONX, New York (Ticker) -- Jim Leyland had all kinds of fears about the New York Yankees' lineup. Derek Jeter and Jason Giambi did little to ease them.

Jeter collected five hits and Giambi capped a five-run third inning with a two-run homer as the Yankees posted an 8-4 victory over the Detroit Tigers in Game One of the American League Division Series.

While the Yankees always have had star players, this lineup appears to be the most fearsome of any in the Joe Torre era. Leyland was well aware as he discussed it with the media prior to Detroit's first postseason game in nearly 19 years.

"Well I told everybody, 'They have got Murderers Row and then (Robinson) Cano,'" Leyland said. "That's not a good feeling."

Tigers left fielder Craig Monroe agreed.

"Up and down that lineup, they have a lot of good hitters," he said.

That proved to be accurate as the Yankees had 12 hits through six innings and 14 overall. Every player but Hideki Matsui and Cano had a hit, but leading the barrage was Jeter and Giambi, who were a combined 6-for-6.

"You're not always going to come through," Jeter said. "There's been plenty of times that I haven't. But when I'm in that situation, I feel as though I'm going to produce, if I come up with a hit or make a play."

The outburst was enough for Chien-Ming Wang, who allowed three runs and eight hits in 6 2/3 innings to improve to 4-0 in five starts all-time against Detroit.

The Yankees will try to take a two-games-to-none lead Wednesday with Mike Mussina opposing rookie Justin Verlander.

"They won tonight," Tigers first baseman Sean Casey said. "Hopefully Verlander gives us a good start."

After just missing out on the AL batting title, Jeter doubled off Nate Robertson in New York's big inning and scored on Bobby Abreu's two-run double as the Yankees grabbed a 2-0 lead.

Abreu's double was the third of six straight hits to start the third. He scored on a single by Gary Sheffield before Giambi delivered the big blow, a two-run home run to right that gave New York a 5-0 advantage.

"Johnny got us started like he always does, Jeter he's unbelievable in postseason and Bobby came through," Giambi said. "Of course Sheff came through and I got a mistake up and in. Thank god it was warm tonight because it carried out of the ballpark."

"The home run by Giambi was a fastball up and in," Robertson said. "He is a strong guy. I don't feel like I pitched bad, it is a tough lineup. They find ways to get hits."

Jeter capped his first career five-hit postseason game - and just the sixth such effort in postseason history - in the eighth with a solo homer, his 17th in the postseason.

"I don't want to say (Jeter) has a plan, but he seems to just relish this atmosphere," Torre said. "He's been so big for us for 11 years here and I can't say I'm surprised.

The AL MVP candidate became the first player to have a five-hit game since Matsui did it in Game Three of the 2004 ALCS against Boston.

"That's why (Jeter's) the captain," Yankees catcher Jorge Posada said. "There's nobody better than him when it comes to the postseason. He's just so calm and then explosive at times. What he couldn't do in the last game of the season, he just took it into today."

"He's loosey-goosey every time he comes in here," Sheffield added. "He's relaxed. It's just like another game to him."

The Tigers scored three in the fifth as Monroe homered and Placido Polanco and Casey added RBI doubles. But representing the tying run, Magglio Ordonez struck out with a runner on second.

Wang left after getting the first two outs in the seventh and lefthander Mike Myers faced one batter and served up a solo home run to Curtis Granderson.

Scott Proctor got the last out of the seventh after a pair of singles, Kyle Farnsworth worked around a leadoff walk in the eighth and Mariano Rivera allowed one hit in the ninth.

Robertson lasted 5 2/3 innings and was ripped for seven runs and 12 hits.

Granderson had three hits and Polanco and Casey had two apiece for Detroit, which lost its sixth straight game, stranded seven runners and went 2-for-9 with runners in scoring position.

"You have to manufacture as much runs as you can," Granderson said. "We had opportunities but we have to learn from our mistakes and manufacture runs."

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