The Yankees' four-run seventh inning spoiled what was a strong outing by Tigers starter Matt Boyd, who carried a no-hitter into the sixth inning.
Yankees starter Michael Pineda took a no-decision, striking out eight batters over 5 2/3 innings. New York pitching struck out 13 batters on the night, three by winning pitcher Dellin Betances.
A Tigers rally against Aroldis Chapman in the ninth fell short after Detroit scored one run on a double-play grounder with the bases loaded before Miguel Cabrera grounded out to second to end the game.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED Boyd retires first 14: The 25-year-old lefty was in a groove early on, sitting down the first 14 batters he faced with the help of eight groundouts and two strikeouts. Chase Headley walked to break up the perfect start, and Refsnyder ended the no-hit bid with a leadoff double in the sixth. Boyd went on to allow four runs on six hits over 6 1/3 innings.
"I just thought they made an adjustment on my changeup, and started taking me the other way," Boyd said. "That's when I've got to make the adjustment faster, to counter that. The fact of the matter is, I didn't counter that."
Pineda shuts down Tigers: Pineda, who entered owning the highest ERA of any qualified starting pitcher in the Majors, allowed one run in what was arguably his best start this season. Pineda gave up seven hits but managed to limit the damage to one run -- an RBI single off the bat of Justin Upton. Pineda was lifted in the sixth inning after striking out Nick Castellanos with his 96th pitch.
"That's the Michael that we've seen, and we know that's what he's capable of doing," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "We've seen glimpses of it this year -- it's just that he's made mistakes during the course of the game. But he didn't tonight."
Yankees bust out in 7th inning: The Yankees erupted for four runs in the seventh inning, highlighted by Ellsbury's two-run triple that gave New York a four-run cushion. Refsnyder opened the scoring with a go-ahead single, knocking Boyd out of the game, and Aaron Hicks followed with an RBI single of Bobby Parnell, who was making his Tigers debut.
"It was really, really nice," Girardi said. "I figured we'd see [Boyd] a couple times, and hopefully we'd have better swings. He was pounding the zone, and using his sinker and slider really well, but our guys kept at it."
Tigers rally falls short The Tigers loaded the bases with no outs in the ninth inning, but could manage just one run off Chapman. Mike Aviles singled, Jose Iglesias drew a walk and Cameron Maybin beat out a bunt to load the bases, but Chapman got J.D. Martinez to hit into a double play before inducing a game-ending groundout off the bat of Cabrera. It marked the eighth save of the season for Chapman.
"You got two really good hitters coming up, and it's not what you want," Girardi said. "But [Chapman] got the big double play and then he got Miggy to ground out. It was a big win for us."
"We've had a few games the last three days where we fight back, but I'm getting tired of fighting back. Let's get a lead and hold on. The guys did a nice job against some very good pitching that they have in the back end of the Yankees' bullpen, but we came up short, and coming up short is not good enough."-- manager Brad Ausmus on Tigers' loss
Ausmus challenged the ruling on a play at the plate in the eighth inning. Pinch-hitting for Jarrod Saltalamacchia, Kinsler hit a double to left field that scored Cabrera from second base. Upton tried to score from first, but was thrown out on a relay from Brett Gardner to Didi Gregorius to catcher Austin Romine.
The call at the plate was confirmed after a replay review.
"We got some big defensive plays out of Didi tonight to really save the game," Girardi said. "He's always ready to play."
WHAT'S NEXT Yankees: Coming off a six-inning gem, Nathan Eovaldi looks to win a career-best sixth straight start on Friday when the Yankees open a three-game weekend series in Baltimore. Eovaldi, who gave up one run Sunday, has allowed just two runs over his last 18 innings pitched. He'll counter Orioles right-hander Chris Tillman, who gave up four runs -- including three homers -- over six innings Sunday in Cleveland. First pitch Friday is set for 7:05 p.m. ET.
Tigers: The Tigers begin a three-game series at home against the White Sox on Friday at 7:10 p.m. CT. It is the first meeting between the two American League Central rivals this season. Jordan Zimmermann will make his first start since straining his right groin on May 22.