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Saturday, August 10, 2013
Notes: Gardy, Nova get it done

By Matt Ehalt

Brett Gardner
Brett Gardner got a well-deserved Gatorade bath on Friday night.
NEW YORK -- For the past two weeks, Brett Gardner has viewed the Yankees' games as do-or-die.

"Every game we feel like is a must-win," the center fielder said.

Friday night, he helped the Yankees secure one of those wins.

Gardner singled home the winning run in the 10th inning of the Yankees' 4-3 victory over the Detroit Tigers on Friday night at Yankee Stadium. Gardner's heroics snapped a four-game Bombers losing streak.

"We haven't been playing good baseball for a couple months. Sometimes, you have to keep winning or you'll be out of it," Gardner said. "I think everybody in this room kind of feels the same way. We have to come in here and work hard every day and focus on one thing, and that's grinding out a win, and come back here and try to do it tomorrow."

Gardner led the Yankees on Friday by going 3-for-5, scoring in the first and third innings and getting on base four times. He also stole his 20th base of the season.

In the 10th inning, with the bases loaded and two outs, he had the biggest hit of the night as he slapped a single past third baseman Miguel Cabrera to win the game. It marked the fourth walk-off hit of his career.

Gardner complimented those who batted in front of him for galvanizing the inning.

"Jayson Nix did a great job to get on base to lead off the inning, and from there Curtis [Granderson] went through the right side and [we were] just able to get a few guys on base and give us a chance," Gardner said. "That's what it's all about."

He added: "This is a big win for us."

Nova super: Ivan Nova continues to give Hiroki Kuroda a run for his money as the best pitcher on the Yankees' staff at the moment.

Nova dazzled once again Friday night by pitched seven innings of one-run ball but was ultimately saddled with a no-decision after Mariano Rivera blew his fourth save of the season.

"I've been pitching really good. Feeling really good with my pitches," Nova said. "Working both sides of the plate to right and lefties and getting quick outs."

The Tigers consistently put men on against Nova, but he didn't back down and pitched fantastic out of the stretch. The Tigers left men on base in six of the seven innings against Nova.

In the first, the Tigers loaded the bases with one out before Nova struck out Victor Martinez and Andy Dirks consecutively to avoid any damage. The Tigers also put two men on in both the second and fourth innings, but Nova again worked out of those spots.

In the seventh, the Tigers finally cracked Nova when Cabrera singled to slice the lead to 3-1, but Nova retired Prince Fielder and Martinez for his final two outs of the night. Nova allowed a season-high eight hits but lowered his ERA to 2.93.

"I was making pitches when I needed to," Nova said. "It was nothing crazy."