New York Yankees Alex Rodriguez argues his call strike out...

New York Yankees Alex Rodriguez argues his call strike out with home plate umpire Bill Welke during the ninth inning of a baseball game against the Detroit Tigers. (May 4, 2011) Credit: AP

DETROIT -- No, Freddy Garcia wasn't very good.

But it isn't awful when your fifth starter allows four runs in seven innings.

At some point some runs would help, and for the second straight night there weren't enough, in this case none, by the Yankees at Comerica Park. They fell quietly last night to the Tigers, 4-0, in front of 22,569.

"We haven't swung the bats too well the last couple nights," Joe Girardi said.

Tigers righthander Max Scherzer won his fifth straight to start the season, shutting out the Yankees over eight innings.

He allowed four hits and each Yankee in the starting lineup, except Curtis Granderson, struck out at least once. Scherzer had a season-best nine strikeouts.

Derek Jeter opened the game with a sharp single to center and finished 1-for-4. After his last at-bat, a fly out to right in the eighth, Girardi removed him from the game.

"His right hip seemed to be grabbing at him," Girardi said.

Although Girardi categorized Jeter as "day to day," the shortstop said "yes," without hesitating when asked if he expected to play Thursday.

He acknowledged the hip felt "stiff," but said at least twice: "It's really not a big deal."

"It's sort of like if you have a sore arm one day," Jeter said. "It's not like it was one play or one swing where it happened, it really is something that happens throughout the course of the year."

It was the best start Scherzer has had in his young career against the Yankees. He came in 2-0 but with a 4.91 ERA. His most recent outing came April 3 at the Stadium when he got the win in a 10-7 Tigers victory, but one in which he gave up six runs and nine hits in five innings.

He had no such issues last night.

Alex Rodriguez wasn't the only Yankee to go hitless but his 0-for-4 night put his current slump at 5-for-40, a slump coinciding for the most part with his return from a two-game absence in mid-April because of an oblique injury.

"I'm not sure," A-Rod said of a possible connection to the injury. "It's definitely not an excuse. I got off to a great start and haven't been swinging the bat really well the last couple of weeks. It's time to get back in the saddle . . . there's a little disconnect but my swing's going to be just fine. Right now it doesn't look pretty but it's going to be fine."

Garcia entered 1-1 with a 2.00 ERA but he was coming off a bad outing last Friday against the Blue Jays when he allowed three runs and seven hits in five innings of a 5-3 loss.

Last night he allowed four runs -- all in the first three innings -- and a season-worst 10 hits in seven innings. Garcia struck out eight and walked two.

He pitched well after the aforementioned first three innings, but was still kicking himself afterward for a first-pitch sinker in the third a struggling Magglio Ordonez, who came in hitting .169, hit out for a two-run homer that made it 4-0.

After the inning it appeared Garcia and the always hyper Francisco Cervelli had a heated discussion, but both said that wasn't the case.

"I take responsibility for calling that pitch," Cervelli said.

Garcia said it was on him.

"He's [Ordonez] struggled the last month," he said. "That's what made me mad. I know he's struggling and I gave him a pitch to hit. I made a mistake and I paid for it."

Notes & quotes: Robinson Cano went 0-for-4 for the second straight game. It is the first time this season he's gone hitless in two straight games.

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