DETROIT — Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez each homered off Justin Verlander, and Phil Hughes pitched a four-hitter to lead the New York Yankees to a 5-1 victory over the Detroit Tigers on Sunday.
Jeter homered on the first pitch of the game, and Rodriguez hit a long solo shot in the third inning. Hughes (5-5) didn’t need much support in throwing his first career complete game of nine innings — last Aug. 2 he went all six innings in a rain-shortened win over the White Sox.
Hughes struck out eight and walked three. He threw a career-high 123 pitches.
Verlander (5-4) allowed five runs — three earned — and nine hits in 6 1/3 innings. He’s now lost three straight starts for the first time since 2008.
Prince Fielder homered for the Tigers.
Jeter had two hits, and his homer gave him his 1,799th run, tying him with Ted Williams for 17th on the career list.
Verlander was laboring from the start, giving up an opposite-field home run to Jeter and then walking Curtis Granderson on four pitches. After another walk and a passed ball, Mark Teixeira hit a one-out sacrifice fly to make it 2-0.
Rodriguez’s homer easily cleared the fence in left-center and went an estimated 447 feet. The ball bounced high off the brick wall where retired numbers are displayed — right between Hank Greenberg’s No. 5 and Charlie Gehringer’s No. 2. It was the third mammoth homer at Comerica Park in less than 24 hours after Detroit’s Miguel Cabrera hit two similar shots to center Saturday night.
Fielder made it 3-1 with a 415-foot homer to right in the fourth, but the Yankees weren’t done. Robinson Cano’s two-out triple in the fifth brought Granderson home from second, and Cano also scored on the play when second baseman Danny Worth’s throw to third skipped past for an error.
Verlander extended his streak to 54 starts of at least six innings in the regular season, but he hasn’t been at his best lately. In his previous outing at Boston, he allowed five runs and 10 hits in six innings.
In an April 27 start at New York, he gave up four earned runs in six innings in a no-decision against the Yankees.
Hughes, meanwhile, has allowed at least one homer in all 11 starts this season, but he kept the banged-up Tigers off base for the most part. Detroit put outfielder Andy Dirks on the disabled list with tendinitis in his right Achilles. Catcher Alex Avila has also been out with right hamstring tightness.