October 28, 2020

Tigers top Yankees 3-2 to set up ALCS vs. Rangers


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Detroit Tigers' Justin Verlander, top left, celebrates

NEW YORK (AP) — Now the Detroit Tigers can believe anything is possible.

They beat the New York Yankees in Game 5. At Yankee Stadium. Escaping jam after jam.

Now it’s on to Texas, and the AL championship series starting Saturday night.

“It’s a tremendous feeling,” Doug Fister said after getting the 3-2 win Thursday. “You got to take this thing one step at a time and try to just soak it all in as we go.”

Fister, not even with the Tigers until July 30, gutted through five mostly tricky innings to form an unlikely trio of stars.

Don Kelly, who didn’t make his big league debut until age 27 after six seasons in the minors, sent Ivan Nova’s sixth pitch of the night into the right-field seats.

Delmon Young, acquired by Detroit in mid-August, deposited Nova’s seventh pitch into the left-field stands.

From there, the Tigers hung on and worried until Jose Valverde powered the final pitch past Alex Rodriguez, crouched and  then exhaled.

As did the Tigers, and their fans everywhere.

“It was a gutsy win, especially with all the opportunities they had,” Kelly said.

The victory sent the Tigers to the ALCS for the first time since 2006, the year they also eliminated the Yankees in the first round.

It was a thriller, with the outcome seeming to teeter on every pitch thrown by the Tigers.

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