NEW YORK — Anibal Sanchez gave a performance against New York that the Detroit Tigers have come to expect from Justin Verlander.
The Tigers' ace is next in line for a chance to toy with the Yankees' suddenly dreadful offense.
Sanchez shut down a Yankees lineup minus the injured Derek Jeter, Detroit scored twice after a missed call by an ump and won without any extra-inning drama, beating New York 3-0 Sunday for a commanding 2-0 lead in the American League championship series.
"Sanchez showed what we know about our starters, that they're really good," Tigers outfielder Quintin Berry said. "A lot of people outside our clubhouse stop at Verlander when they talk about our starting pitching, but we just hope they all keep doing what they're doing."
Game 3 in the best-of-seven series is Tuesday night in Detroit, with Verlander, the reigning AL MVP, starting for the Tigers against Phil Hughes. Verlander went 2-0 in the division series versus Oakland, including a four-hit shutout with 11 strikeouts in the decisive Game 5.
Hitting .192 in the ALCS after putting up a paltry .216 average against Baltimore in the division series, the Yankees have a real challenge ahead.
"Obviously, he's a great pitcher," designated hitter Raul Ibanez said of Verlander. "We have to go out there and battle and compete and play the best that we can and do what we're capable of doing."
New York did little against Sanchez. He struck out seven and was never in any real trouble.
In the first inning when the Yankees put runners on first and second, he took care of it by reaching around his back to snare a grounder for the final out.
"He was terrific," Detroit manager Jim Leyland said. "This is a tough place to pitch with a tough lineup and a short porch. And a whole bunch of left-handed hitters, it is not easy. That was quite a feat."