A visitor to the Yankees' clubhouse Tuesday afternoon spotted Garden City product Matt Daley sitting at his locker and welcomed him back to the big leagues.
"Thanks,'' the righthanded reliever said. "It's great to be back.''
Daley was called up from Triple-A on Monday but he didn't appear in a game until Tuesday night. Late Tuesday night .
Daley, the seventh Yankees pitcher, served up the go-ahead home run to Detroit's Alex Avila in the 12th inning. He was tagged with the 4-3 loss when the Yankees went down 1-2-3 in the bottom of the inning against Stony Brook University product Joe Nathan.
It was the Yankees' 16th consecutive game decided by one or two runs.
"He did what a good hitter is supposed to do with that pitch,'' said Daley, in his fourth stint with the Yankees this season. "It's definitely frustrating right now because I felt like I threw the ball well. Hopefully, I get another chance and take advantage of that opportunity.''
The Yankees had an opportunity to tie Toronto for the AL's second wild card, but Detroit rallied from a 3-1 deficit. No. 9 hitter Andrew Romine pulled the Tigers within a run in the sixth with a leadoff homer. In the seventh, Detroit had runners on first and third with two outs when Avila grounded a single to right off Hiroki Kuroda to tie it.
Joe Girardi let Kuroda face the lefty-swinging Avila in part because the Yankees earlier in the day let lefthanded specialist Matt Thornton go to the Nationals on a waiver claim. A night earlier, Thornton retired Avila in a similar spot to protect a one-run lead.
One big difference: Brandon McCarthy had thrown 116 pitches when Girardi brought in Thornton on Monday. Kuroda was under 90 when the at-bat with Avila began.
"He had been throwing the ball well,'' Girardi said. "We had an opportunity to win that game. We had a lot of opportunities, and it's tough. But that's part of the game.''
The Yankees faced a tall task in the first three games of a four-game set against the Tigers: Max Scherzer on Monday, David Price Tuesday night and Justin Verlander Wednesday night. They're the last three AL Cy Young winners.
The Yankees beat Scherzer, 2-1, and battled Price to a draw in the former Rays lefthander's Tigers debut. Price went 82/3 innings and allowed three runs.
The Yankees led 3-1 on homers by Brian McCann and Martin Prado and an RBI double by Jacoby Ellsbury. They didn't score after the fifth. "It's tough to lose, period,'' McCann said. "These are the tough ones to swallow.''
The Tigers' Victor Martinez hit a sacrifice fly in the first inning for a 1-0 lead. McCann answered in the second with a solo homer to right, his 12th. Ellsbury doubled in Brendan Ryan in the third and Prado hit his first Yankees home run in the fifth.
Kuroda left after seven, having allowed three runs and six hits. Dellin Betances struck out two in a 1-2-3 eighth, including Miguel Cabrera on a 100-mph fastball. Betances got the first out of the ninth before hitting Torii Hunter with a curve on the left hand. Hunter left the game (X-rays were negative).
Joba Chamberlain was booed but threw 11/3 scoreless innings in his return to the Stadium. He hit Derek Jeter with a 93-mph fastball in the 10th and appeared to apologize. Jeter appeared to accept.