JV tops Tanaka, Kinsler has 5 RBIs in win

JV tops Tanaka, Kinsler has 5 RBIs in win

NEW YORK -- One day after the Yankees knocked the Tigers back to .500, the Tigers returned the favor in a 6-1 win on Saturday night at Yankee Stadium.

On the back of a career-high five-RBIs from Ian Kinsler and another steady performance from Justin Verlander, Detroit (31-30) evened the three-game weekend series with New York (31-31). Kinsler supplied the sparks, smacking a three-run home run in the fifth inning and following that up with a two-run double off the center-field wall in the seventh inning in his next at-bat.

Masahiro Tanaka didn't show his best stuff Saturday, lasting 6 1/3 innings and allowing five earned runs (and two homers), while striking out just three batters. Saturday marked just the second time in 2016 that Tanaka allowed multiple home runs in a start.

"I thought he made a couple of mistakes that hurt him," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "He made a mistake to [Nick Castellanos] early on when he was 0-2, and he threw a cutter that backed up for the three-run homer. And that was the difference for the game."

Ian Almighty: The Tigers entered Saturday with six home runs in June, tied for the second-fewest in the Major Leagues. But after Castellanos opened scoring with a solo shot in the second, Kinsler deposited a three-run blast over the left-field wall to put the Tigers up by three in the fifth. His seventh-inning double helped seal the win.

Kinsler's five-RBI game

Filling in at first: With the Yankees' first-base situation in a seemingly permanent state of flux due to injuries, Refsnyder is manager Joe Girardi's choice to man the position. Refsnyder filled in well Saturday night, notching his second multi-hit game of the season and driving in the Yankees' only run with a single in the third inning.

"I hope so," Girardi said about whether or not he thinks Refnsyder turned a corner Saturday. "It's quite a transition to come in, he's never done it, and say, 'You're going to first base.' I've said, I think he's handled it extremely well."

Refsnyder's RBI single to center

Victorious Verlander: Verlander once again came up big for the Tigers, tossing 6 2/3 innings of one-run ball. After relying heavily on his four-seam fastball early, Verlander turned toward his offspeed stuff later in the game. He proved effective throughout, surrendering five hits and one walk against five strikeouts.

Kinsler's five-RBI day marked the first time a Tiger accomplished the feat since Castellanos reached the mark on Aug. 19, 2015, in a 15-8 win over the White Sox.

Because of a hard, passing rainshower that inundated the stadium with water about an hour before the scheduled first pitch, the game started following a very short-lived delay. Saturday's first pitch of 7:20 p.m. came just five minutes later than the initially scheduled start time.

Tigers: Michael Fulmer (6-1, 2.83 ERA) looks to continue his sparkling rookie campaign in the rubber match of the series on Sunday at 2:05 p.m. ET. He brings a four-game winning streak and he hasn't allowed a run in 22 1/3 consecutive innings.

Yankees: The Yankees round out the series and the homestand with Michael Pineda on the mound Sunday following Old-Timers' Day festivities in the Bronx. Pineda (3-6, 6.14 ERA) has looked like a new pitcher over his last couple of starts, and no time was that more evident than Tuesday, when he allowed a season-low four hits over a season-high seven innings.

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Nick Suss is a reporter for MLB.com based in New York and covered the Yankees on Saturday.

Joshua Needelman is a reporter for MLB.com based in New York and covered the Tigers on Saturday.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.