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1907Tigers take opener despite Valverde’s meltd own

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  • RICHARD PIET
    Oct 14, 2012
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      Tigers take opener despite Valverde’s meltdown

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      Tigers take opener despite Valverde’s meltdown
      Tigers manager Jim Leyland, right, pulls relief pitcher Jose Valverde, centre, as catcher Gerald Laird looks on during the ninth inning of Game 1 in New York. (Reuters/Bill Kostroun)
      The Detroit Tigers survived a stunning four-run New York rally in the bottom of the ninth to beat the Yankees 6-4 in 12 innings on Saturday in the opening game of the American League Championship Series.
      Delmon Young doubled under the glove of diving Yankee right-fielder Nick Swisher to score Miguel Cabrera in the 12th with the go-ahead run and Detroit added another run in the inning as the Tigers drew first blood in the best-of-seven series.
      Potentially more damaging to New York’s hopes in the series was Derek Jeter’s broken ankle. The Yankee captain hurt his left leg diving for a ball in the 12th and was helped off the field.
      Detroit led 4-0 going into the bottom of the ninth before two-run homers by both Ichiro Suzuki and Raul Ibanez off Tigers closer Jose Valverde sent the game into extra innings.
      Game 2 of the series that will determine the American League representative in the World Series will be played at Yankee Stadium Sunday with New York’s Hiroki Kuroda taking the mound against Anibal Sanchez of the Tigers (4 p.m., RSO).