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."

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
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.

SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
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.

A BRIEF DELAY
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.

WHAT'S NEXT
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.

Watch every out-of-market regular-season game live on MLB.TV.

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.