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One day later, Yankees cruise

NEW YORK — No national anthem, all Yankees.

Robinson Cano hit a grand slam and drove in six runs, rookie Ivan Nova pitched impressively into the ninth inning in an unusual relief appearance and New York shook off a 23-hour rain delay to beat the Tigers 9-3 in their suspended American League Division Series opener Saturday.

A day after rain wiped out aces Justin Verlander and CC Sabathia after 1½ innings, the game resumed in the bottom of the second with two new pitchers on the mound.

Cano barely missed a homer on his double that broke a 1-1 tie in the fifth, and New York broke the game open with a six-run sixth against Doug Fister. Brett Gardner had a two-run single with two outs to make it 4-1, and Cano connected off Al Alburquerque for his fourth grand slam since Aug. 11.

"I always say things happen for a reason," Cano said. "We couldn't play (Friday) night, but we played (Saturday), and we ended up winning the game."

Manager Joe Girardi moved Cano up from fifth to third in the lineup for the playoffs to get him more protection and pitches to hit.

Cano added an RBI double in the eighth to tie a club record for RBIs in a postseason game. His seventh career postseason homer was the 11th slam in Yankees postseason history.

"I wasn't looking for a home run, just looking for a pitch I can make good contact (with) and at least get one RBI," Cano said.

Yankees 9

Tigers 3

One day later, Yankees cruise 10/01/11 [Last modified: Sunday, October 2, 2011 1:26am]
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