Didi's dazzling D saves Yanks in Detroit

Didi's dazzling D saves Yanks in Detroit

DETROIT -- Yankees shortstop Didi Gregorius saved a run with his arm in the eighth inning Thursday night.

He likely saved the game with his glove in the ninth.

Gregorius helped Yankees closer Aroldis Chapman escape a bases-loaded, none-out jam in the ninth inning with an incredible double play that he turned with second baseman Starlin Castro en route to a 5-4 win over the Tigers.

Brought in as a defensive replacement in the eighth inning, Gregorius flipped J.D. Martinez's ninth-inning grounder up the middle to Castro, who barehanded the shovel pass and threw to first while falling down.

"We got some big defensive plays out of Didi tonight to really save that game," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "He's always ready to play."

A run scored from third, trimming New York's lead to 5-4, but Chapman managed to get 10-time All-Star Miguel Cabrera to ground out to Castro on the very next pitch to convert the save.

"You've 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."

The game-changing double play came an inning after Gregorius made a picture-perfect throw home to Yankees catcher Austin Romine, who narrowly tagged out Justin Upton in a bang-bang play at the plate.

Gregorius nails Upton at home

"I gave [Gregorius] a few innings off tonight because he's been going hard," Girardi said. "He'll be back out there [Friday]."

James Schmehl is a contributor to MLB.com based in Detroit. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.