By SANTOSH VENKATARAMAN
(AP) -- The New York Yankees are turning to ace CC Sabathia in Sunday's series finale against the Detroit Tigers.
Detroit is using Max Scherzer, who could be poised to break out of his struggles since he has never lost to New York.
The Tigers look to continue their success against left-handed starters when they face Sabathia at Yankee Stadium.
Sabathia (2-0, 5.27 ERA) feels he has improved his command with each outing this season. He issued one walk over eight innings and allowed four runs to get credit for Monday's 7-4 victory at Texas.
The big left-hander says establishing his fastball has been key.
"It makes it a lot easier for me because I throw everything off of that, my changeup, my cutter, even my curveball," Sabathia said.
Sabathia's command was lacking in last year's AL division series against Detroit (11-10), as he walked eight over 8 2-3 innings in three appearances. He's 2-0 with a 1.80 ERA in three regular-season starts at Yankee Stadium against the Tigers.
Detroit is 6-2 in games in which opponents start left-handers, and could have another edge Sunday based on how Scherzer (1-2, 8.24) has fared against New York (11-9). Scherzer has posted a 2.16 ERA while winning all four of his starts against the Yankees, including a 5-3 road victory in Game 2 of last year's division series in which he threw six scoreless innings.
No New York regular is hitting better than .231 against the right-hander, including postseason. Curtis Granderson and Mark Teixeira are each 3 for 14, Derek Jeter 3 for 13, Robinson Cano 2 for 10 and Alex Rodriguez 0 for 10.
Scherzer, however, hasn't fooled many hitters this year. He yielded five runs and a season-high 10 hits over five innings of Tuesday's 7-4 loss to Seattle.
"You can't pitch well in the big leagues if you're going to be pitching from behind," he said. "Usually that's something I am good at is getting strike one and working ahead and you just try to do that next time."
Detroit ended a season-high five-game slide with Saturday's 7-5 victory to even this series. Miguel Cabrera homered and drove in three runs, giving him six RBIs over his last three games.
Andy Dirks had a three-run homer in the first inning for the Tigers, who broke out for their highest-scoring effort since a 7-2 win over Tampa Bay on April 12.
"Whether we're going to start hitting right now and tomorrow and forever on, I don't know about that," manager Jim Leyland said. "But we'll hit and today was a real good day for us."
Detroit placed Delmon Young on the restricted list before Saturday's game. The outfielder will be evaluated under baseball's employee assistance program following his arrest on a hate crime harassment charge for an encounter at his Times Square hotel during which police say he yelled anti-Semitic epithets.
Nick Swisher homered twice Saturday for the Yankees, who have dropped three of four. Granderson also went deep for a team-high seventh time.
Updated April 28, 2012