Dave Winfield singled home the winning run in the ninth inning as Bob Shirley outdueled rookie Randy O'Neal, giving the Yankees a 2-1 victory over the Detroit Tigers yesterday in New York to end their four-game losing streak.
The Tigers had a six-game winning streak ended when O'Neal faltered in the ninth inning with an error and a wild pitch.
O'Neal walked Rickey Henderson to lead off the inning and Henderson took second on his wild pickoff throw. Ken Griffey was walked intentionally, and, with a 1-2 count on Winfield, O'Neal threw a wild pitch that advanced the runners. Winfield singled up the middle for only the third hit off O'Neal (1-1).
"The pitcher's under a lot of pressure when I get on base like that," Henderson said. "It's tough on them because I can steal any time."
"We didn't want to pitch to Griffey in that situation," Tigers Manger Sparky Anderson said of his ninth-inning strategy. "I was hoping, frankly, that Winfield would get the bunt down, then we walk (Don) Mattingly and try to get a double play on (Don) Baylor."
Shirley (2-1) pitched a four-hitter, walking two and striking out five to win his second straight start.
"We've got some good pitchers and a good team," he said. "But we've been struggling. If we had gotten the ball rolling against Toronto, maybe that would have carried over against Detroit. It didn't work that way, and now we hope we can get it going on the road."
Mike Pagliarulo led off the New York third with his fourth homer of the season and second in two days. After the homer, O'Neal, called up from the minors June 2, did not allow another hit until Pagliarulo singled with two outs in the fifth.
Kirk Gibson lined a 2-0 pitch from Shirley into the bleachers in right-center field for his 12th homer to start the fourth. The home run, estimated at close to 500 feet, gave the Tigers at least one homer in each of their past seven games.