DETROIT - There was no less desirable piece of real estate in the Motor City Wednesday night than the pitcher's mound at Comerica Park.
In conditions that might have made even the huskies who pull sleds in the Iditarod shiver, David Price and Adam Warren pitched in the early going as if zipped up in bulky parkas.
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Amid occasional snow and a 38-degree first-pitch temperature that plummeted, Warren fared far better, overcoming his slow start to help the Yankees rout the Tigers, 13-4.
"The conditions,'' Joe Girardi said, "were not great for pitching tonight.''
The Yankees (8-7) have taken two of three from the Tigers (11-4), who entered the series with baseball's best record, and are in good position to take three of four behind Masahiro Tanaka Thursday.
The game essentially was decided in a 52-minute first inning in which Price threw 51 pitches and Warren 36, and included periods of flurries that gave the ballpark the feel of a snow globe.
"It was tough,'' Warren said. "You just had to find a way to get some feeling in your hands and on the ball.''
The Yankees had 15 hits, three by Chris Young and two each by Jacoby Ellsbury, Brian McCann, Carlos Beltran and Chase Headley, and got a late three-run homer from Mark Teixeira.
"It wasn't pleasant,'' said Teixeira, who has 10 hits this season, five homers, four doubles and a single. "But we can laugh about it now because it was a big win.''
The Yankees scored six runs in the first, sending 11 to the plate, only to see the Tigers send nine up in a four-run bottom half. Price (1-1, 3.28) was gone after 21/3 innings, having allowed eight runs and 10 hits. Warren (1-1, 5.40) allowed four runs, none after the first, and five hits in 52/3.
"I'm proud of the way I bounced back,'' Warren said.
Price started the game by hitting Ellsbury square in the chest with a full-count fastball. "It felt like I got hit by a frozen snowball coming in at 93,'' Ellsbury said wearily.
Young, 11-for-28 this trip, dumped a single to center. Alex Rodriguez (1-for-4, two walks) struck out, but Teixeira walked and McCann flared an opposite-field single down the leftfield line that brought in Ellsbury. Beltran, hitting .171 with a .222 on-base percentage coming in, struck out, but Headley delivered a two-out single to left through the snow to make it 2-0.
Gregorio Petit, who came in hitting .111, ripped a 2-and-2 changeup into the gap in left-center for a three-run double that made it 5-0. Didi Gregorius, who had another tough night in the field, walked, and Ellsbury sliced a single to left for a 6-0 lead and his first RBI of the year.
Warren settled down after his rough first, aided by the Yankees' tacking on two runs in the second -- Beltran and Headley hit back-to-back triples that made it 8-4. The bullpen took over in the sixth, pitching a combined 31/3 scoreless.
It was an impressive victory for a club that seems to have righted things after a rough start. It was the Yankees' fifth win in six games.
"We played really bad the first week at home, really bad,'' Girardi said. "We've turned it around on this road trip. It's a group that really wants to win and has a lot of fight in them.''