DETROIT - Sure, you saw that coming.
The Yankees hoped Tuesday's loss wouldn't be the start of another stretch of poor play but faced the difficult obstacle of Tigers lefthander David Price to get back in the win column.
"You'd love to get a lead on David Price and get to him early, because it seems like once he gets on a roll, he can be pretty tough,'' Joe Girardi said before the game. "But you just have to find a way to win the game.''
Did they ever, producing an inning for the ages in an 8-4 beatdown of Price and the Tigers in front of a sellout crowd of 40,876 Wednesday night at Comerica Park.
All of the Yankees' runs came in a magical third inning, in which the Bombers ripped nine consecutive hits off Price. They became the first AL team with nine straight hits in an inning since the Tigers in 1996 against the Blue Jays. The Cardinals did it last season against the Pirates.
At one point in the third, the Yankees were 8-for-8 with runners in scoring position.
The Yankees (69-62) moved within 21/2 games of the Mariners for the AL's final wild-card spot. They are two games behind the Tigers (71-60).
Price (12-10) was 1-1 with a 2.35 ERA in four previous starts with Detroit since being acquired from the Rays on July 31. He did not record an out in the third. In two-plus innings, he allowed eight runs and 12 hits, two off the hot bat of leadoff man Jacoby Ellsbury.
Ellsbury, on a 15-for-31 tear entering the game, started the rally with his second single. He then stole his second base, giving him a team-best 37. Derek Jeter sliced a 2-and-1 changeup down the rightfield line for a double and a 1-0 lead.
Martin Prado, 15-for-40 (.375) in his previous 10 games and batting third, lined a single to left. Mark Teixeira flared a double down the rightfield line to bring in Jeter, making it 2-0. Carlos Beltran's single off the rightfield wall brought in Prado, and designated hitter Brian McCann's second hit made it 4-0.
There was more. Much more.
Chase Headley's single loaded the bases, and Brett Gardner's infield chopper drove in Beltran for a 5-0 lead. Francisco Cervelli made it 9-for-9 with a ground shot to left, bringing in McCann and sending Price to the showers. Blaine Hardy faced Ellsbury, who lofted a sacrifice fly to left to make it 7-0. Jeter's sacrifice fly to center brought in Gardner for an 8-0 lead.
After sitting for what seemed like an hour, rookie Shane Greene (4-1) retired the Tigers in order on 10 pitches. The righthander again was impressive, allowing two runs and five hits in seven innings. Again featuring a biting slider and a fastball with all kinds of late movement, Greene struck out eight and walked one.
Before the breakout third, the Yankees looked destined for a frustrating night. Ellsbury led off the game with a single and stole second. Jeter battled for nine pitches before being called out on strikes. After Prado walked, Price struck out Teixeira looking and Beltran swinging to end the 28-pitch inning.
The Yankees again had their chances in the second but came up empty. McCann beat the shift, improving to 6-for-13 in his career against Price, and Headley singled. Gardner, 2-for-20 against Price coming in, grounded into a 4-6 force that moved McCann to third. But Price got out of it when Cervelli hit into a 4-6-3 double play.