Rapid Reaction: Yankees 9, Tigers 4

DETROIT -- A quick take on the Yankees' win over the Tigers on Friday night:

What it means: With a 9-4 victory, the Yankees are off to a good start in this three-game set against the Tigers. They can win the series with a W on Saturday -- even before facing ace Justin Verlander on Sunday afternoon.

The Yankees have struggled in Motown. Coming into the game, they had lost six of their previous eight here, dating back to 2010.

Roughing up a rook: The Yankees were very patient against Tigers rookie Casey Crosby, who made his major-league debut after being called up from Triple-A Toledo. The lefty was 4-2 with a 4.26 ERA in the minors.

Crosby started out strong, striking out both Curtis Granderson and Alex Rodriguez looking in the first inning. But in the second, the Yankees waited for the lefty to throw strikes -- he didn't. Crosby walked four men in the inning, including Derek Jeter with the bases loaded to force in the first run for the Yanks. It tied the game at 1-1.

Granderson followed Jeter's RBI with a grand slam to right field, giving the Yankees a 5-1 advantage. Granderson leads the majors with 58 homers since the start of the 2011 season. It was also his 22nd (and sixth this season) versus a lefty during that span, the most by any left-handed hitter.

The Yankees wound up chasing the kid after just 3-1/3 innings. He gave up six runs (all earned) on four hits. He walked four and struck out three.

Mad in Detroit: CC Sabathia hadn't exactly made beautiful music when pitching in Motown. At least, not as a Yankee.

Coming into Friday night's game, Sabathia was 0-3 with a 6.00 ERA in three regular-season starts here. Sabathia has never won a game at Comerica Park as a member of the Yankees, and is winless in his last five starts (including the postseason) at Comerica dating back to 2007.

After a rocky first inning -- including a leadoff triple which led to a run -- Sabathia put in a workmanlike effort. In seven innings, the lefty gave up three runs (all earned) on eight hits. He walked two and struck out five. Sabathia improved to 7-2 on the season.

More knocks: Jeter went 2-for-4 with a walk and an RBI. He now has a six-game hitting streak.

K-Rod: Rodriguez struck out in three of his first four at-bats. But in the ninth, he hit a two-run bomb to left-center off Octavio Dotel. It was his eighth home run of the season.

Pen pals: Right-hander Cody Eppley started the eighth inning, but he gave up a leadoff double to Miguel Cabrera -- that was it for Eppley. Boone Logan was called in next to face Prince Fielder. Cory Wade followed after Logan got Fielder out, but he gave up an infield single. The Tigers managed another run, pulling within 7-4. Clay Rapada pitched the ninth.

What's coming up: A trip to the clubhouse, to find out about Grandy's grand slam and CC finally breaking through. Since 2009, the Tigers were the only American League team Sabathia had not beaten on the road.

Plus, you'll get some reaction from the Yanks about Johan Santana, who pitched a no-hitter for the Mets at Citi Field tonight.

On Saturday, it's Hiroki Kuroda (4-6, 3.96) versus Rick Porcello (3-4, 5.21) at 7:15 p.m. ET.