Cabrera, Tigers blank Yankees in home opener

Posted at 4:10 PM, Apr 08, 2016
and last updated 2016-04-08 18:52:33-04
DETROIT (AP) -- If Jordan Zimmermann is feeling uncertain about his fastball, he has plenty of other pitches he can use.
In a chilly debut for his new team, the Detroit right-hander was everything the Tigers hoped for when they signed him in the offseason.
"Fastball command wasn't really there," Zimmermann said. "I was hit-or-miss with that, and I missed my fair share over the middle and they didn't barrel me up today. I got a little lucky in that department, but my offspeed was good and I could throw it whenever I wanted."
Zimmermann allowed two hits in seven innings, Miguel Cabrera homered and the Tigers beat the New York Yankees 4-0 Friday to win their eighth straight home opener. Zimmermann struck out three and walked three in his first start since leaving Washington and signing a $110 million, five-year deal with Detroit.
Nick Castellanos hit four singles for the Tigers, who have won three in a row to start the season. Zimmermann slowed a New York team that totaled 27 runs and hit seven homers in its first three games of the year against Houston.
"He's got four pitches, and he actually used his changeup a little bit today against this left-handed lineup," Detroit manager Brad Ausmus said. "But both his slider and his curveball can be very good. Sometimes he's told me that one may work and another may not during the course of the game, but when he has both he's been really good."
Cabrera hit an RBI single in the first and a solo homer in the seventh. Luis Severino (0-1) allowed three runs and 10 hits in five-plus innings.
The Yankees gave Alex Rodriguez the day off, and Carlos Beltran was not in the starting lineup.
Moments after Kirk Gibson threw out the ceremonial first pitch, Zimmermann went to work on a 38-degree day at Comerica Park. Castellanos started things off with a sparkling defensive play, catching a foul flare behind third base while falling to the ground to retire leadoff man Jacoby Ellsbury.
The Yankees never got much of anything going offensively on this cold afternoon.
"Today was actually a nice day compared to what we're going to see the next few days, and what we had opening day," New York's Mark Teixeira said. "Both teams have to hit in it, so it didn't really affect us today."
Severino allowed nine of his 21 runs last season in the first inning, and the Tigers took an early lead on Cabrera's one-out hit. Jose Iglesias hit an RBI single in the fourth, and Anthony Gose followed with a run-scoring groundout.
Cabrera's opposite-field drive in the seventh was his first homer of the year and came moments after Zimmermann threw his 100th and final pitch, striking out Chase Headley to end the top of the inning.
Starlin Castro was moved from eighth to third in New York's lineup after driving in eight runs in his first three games of the season. He went 0 for 4 on Friday.
New York reliever Luis Cessa made his major league debut, pitching the final two innings. He was traded from Detroit to the Yankees in the offseason deal that sent Justin Wilson to the Tigers. Wilson pitched the eighth inning Friday, striking out two.
Cessa struck out two but allowed Cabrera's homer.
"I think he's the best hitter in the majors," Cessa said. "I feel great. I threw two good innings. I made a mistake, one pitch, so I paid for that one."
Yankees: Beltran struck out as a pinch hitter to end the game. He and Rodriguez were held out of the starting lineup not because of injuries but because of what manager Joe Girardi called the "quick turnaround" from Thursday's home game against Houston.
Tigers: OF Cameron Maybin (left wrist) and RP Alex Wilson (right rotator cuff) began injury rehab assignments with Class A Lakeland on Thursday night. Pitcher Blaine Hardy (left shoulder) will make his first rehab outing Saturday.
Yankees: CC Sabathia takes the mound Saturday against the Tigers in his first start since missing the postseason last year while undergoing alcohol rehabilitation.
Tigers: Detroit will start Mike Pelfrey, who left Minnesota this past offseason and signed with the Tigers as a free agent.