DETROIT — Miguel Cabrera homered and drove in three runs, and the Detroit Tigers held off the New York Yankees 6-5 on Tuesday night for their sixth straight victory.
New York scored twice off closer Jose Valverde in the ninth inning and had runners at second and third when Curtis Granderson popped up for the final out. The AL East leaders have lost 12 of 18.
Cabrera has moved into the MVP race by hitting .333 since the All-Star break with 11 homers and 24 RBIs in 24 games. Andy Dirks added three hits and two RBIs for the Tigers, who are chasing the first-place White Sox in the AL Central.
Rick Porcello (9-6) picked up the win, allowing three runs and eight hits in 6 2-3 innings. He struck out three and didn't walk a batter.
Porcello is 3-0 with a 2.03 ERA in his last four home starts against the Yankees. Three relievers finished, with Valverde staggering to his 22nd save in 26 tries.
Ichiro Suzuki hit an RBI single with two outs in the ninth and Russell Martin followed with a run-scoring double to left. Suzuki was held at third, however, and Granderson popped out to first.
Phil Hughes (11-9) struggled after dominating the Tigers the previous time he faced them. After tossing a four-hitter on June 3, he lasted just 4 1-3 innings this time, giving up four runs and eight hits.
The game was scoreless until Eric Chavez's two-run homer for the Yankees in the fourth. Chavez had three hits against Justin Verlander on Monday.
Cabrera made it 2-1 with a line drive into the left-field stands in the bottom of the inning. The homer was his 19th at Comerica Park, tying the stadium record he set in 2008 and matched in 2009. Jhonny Peralta made it 2-all with a two-out double off Hughes.
Cabrera chased Hughes with a two-run double in the fifth, and Andy Dirks' run-scoring double gave the Tigers a three-run lead in the next inning.
Suzuki's RBI double pulled the Yankees to 5-3, but Dirks restored the three-run cushion with an RBI single in the eighth.
NOTES: Jeter's fourth-inning single was his first hit against Porcello in 14 career at-bats. ... Detroit's batting practice was televised, and Cabrera and Prince Fielder put on a show for the viewers. Cabrera hit a homer off the Al Kaline statue above the stands in right-center, while Fielder hit a ball into the Wildcat Bleachers on the second deck in left. Neither location has ever been reached during a game. ... The game was delayed briefly after Chavez hit reliever Cody Eppley in the head with a throw from third. Eppley was in the process of catching a toss from the plate umpire and didn't see Chavez's throw. He was checked by the Yankees' training staff, but laughed it off.