NEW YORK — In one clubhouse at Yankee Stadium, a young pitcher celebrated his first major league win in his fourth start. Over on the home team's side, Freddy Garcia contemplated start No. 331. It did not appear to be a pleasant exercise.
For the second straight time, he didn't make it out of the second inning. The New York Yankees couldn't come back Saturday against the Detroit Tigers and lost 7-5, their third loss in four games.
"I don't know what's going to happen next," Garcia said. "I have to keep working and do my stuff. I have to figure it out soon."
Garcia said manager Joe Girardi hasn't spoken with him about his future, "but probably it happen tomorrow."
Andy Pettitte has been pitching in the minor leagues, working toward joining New York after coming out of retirement. The Yankees moved his next start, on Monday, to Class A Tampa so he can pitch in warm weather, and plan to evaluate him after that game.
David Phelps pitched three scoreless and hitless innings of relief for the Yankees, and is a candidate to move into the rotation.
Phil Hughes, who has also struggled, is scheduled to pitch Tuesday, and Ivan Nova, who was knocked around for 11 hits and six runs in 5 1-3 innings on Friday night, is scheduled for Wednesday. Yankees' starters have an ERA of 6.37, worse than every team but Minnesota at 7.01, according to STATS LLC.
"His stuff is not what we're used to seeing," Girardi said of Garcia. "The ball's not coming out of his hand the same way the last three or four starts. He threw great in spring training, harder than he did last year. But for some reason, it's not there. He's not crisp out there."
Garcia (0-2) looked shaky right from the start. He started the game by walking Jackson, a player with barely more than 100 bases on balls in more than 1,300 plate appearances for his career. He actually went to a full count on his first three batters, and intentionally walked Prince Fielder, setting up Andy Dirks' three-run homer.
Garcia gave up a leadoff single in the second before two flyball outs, but left before the game was an hour old. He was charged with six runs and gave up five hits in 1 2-3 innings, allowing seven of the 12 batters he faced to reach. He walked off to boos, with an ERA of 12.51 and his place in the Yankees' rotation in jeopardy.
"My velocity is down," Garcia said. "I work hard last winter, but it not working my way right now."
The Yankees nearly came back against the Tigers' bullpen. Granderson had a bloop single to score a run off Jose Valverde in the ninth and scored on pinch-hitter Raul Ibanez's double. Pinch-hitter Eric Chavez hit a deep fly to right to end it.
"We were only 15 feet away from tying that game," said Nick Swisher, who hit solo homers in the first and ninth innings, one from each side of the plate. "We've got to come back and win the series tomorrow."
Miguel Cabrera homered and drove in three runs and Dirks hit a three-run homer in the first off Garcia. Playing Delmon Young's usual position of left field, Dirks made a pair of nice defensive plays, too, running down balls that looked like extra-base hits off the bat.
Young was placed on the restricted list earlier Saturday to be evaluated under baseball's employee assistance program. He was arrested early Friday on a hate crime harassment charge following an encounter at his hotel during which police say he yelled anti-Semitic epithets and appeared intoxicated.
Drew Smyly (1-0) only allowed one hit through six innings and gave up a leadoff single to Alex Rodriguez in the seventh and manager Jim Leyland pulled him immediately for lefty Phil Coke rather than have him face the rest of the Yankees lineup a third time. Coke got Mark Teixeira to hit into a 1-6-3 double play. Smyly finished with two hits and two walks in six-plus innings. He struck out seven.
"He really pitched like a veteran pitcher to be honest with you," Leyland said. "Not a lot of guys can do that. Guys pitch a long time and can't do that."
With two outs in the first inning and Austin Jackson on second, Girardi ordered Fielder intentionally walked. Dirks responded with his first homer of the season, a drive to right field on an 0-2 pitch.
The Tigers added three runs in the second on a double by Brennan Boesch and Cabrera's easy, two-run single to right field for a 6-1 lead. Cabrera answered Curtis Granderson's solo homer in the seventh with one of his own in the eighth.
Afterward, Smyly's teammates poured beer on his head, and Valverde saved him a game ball. The Yankees clubhouse was quiet and mostly empty. Garcia was there to face reporters.
"I try to do everything I can, but I just throw it," he said. "You try to go out there and make it happen, but nothing happens."
NOTES: The Tigers replaced Young on the 25-man roster by recalling infielder Danny Worth from Triple-A Toledo. ... Derek Jeter got the 1,000th walk of his career in the third inning. ... Leyland won his 1,599th game as a manager, tying Tommy Lasorda for 17th on the career list. ... Granderson has reached base safely in 19 straight games.