Yankees whiff at home, season ends with Game 5 loss

(AP) - One by one, almost all the big-money boppers hadtheir chance. Alex Rodriguez, Robinson Cano, Nick Swisher.Bases loaded, two runners on - the New

NEW YORK - (AP) - One by one, almost all the big-money boppers hadtheir chance. Alex Rodriguez, Robinson Cano, Nick Swisher.

Bases loaded, two runners on - the New York Yankees never cameup with that clutch hit Thursday night, and suddenly their seasonis over.

No parade up Broadway, no sparkling World Series ring to go withthe 27 others. No fairy-tale ending for Jorge Posada.

Just a long, cold winter to look back and wonder why one ofbaseball's best lineups whiffed when it mattered most.

Doug Fister and three relievers stopped the Yankees in theirtracks, pitching their way out of several pressure-packed jams andsending the Detroit Tigers into the AL championship series with a3-2 victory in Game 5.

New York manager Joe Girardi tried almost everything. He went tothe bullpen early, pulling his ailing rookie starter Ivan Novaafter two shaky innings. CC Sabathia came in for the first reliefappearance of his professional career.

None of it was enough. The bats let the Yankees down.

"This is a really empty feeling," Girardi said, "and ithurts."

Derek Jeter made a bid for a go-ahead homer in the eighth, buthis drive to right was caught just in front of the fence. JeffreyMaier was nowhere to be found to haul it over the wall as he did tohelp the Yankees in 1996.

Quite literally, the Yankees came up just short.

They went 0 for 4 with the bases loaded and stranded 10. Theyfinished 2 for 9 with runners in scoring position, and neither hitdelivered a run. Cano hit a solo homer to give him nine RBIs in theseries and Mark Teixeira drew a bases-loaded walk.

That was it.

And when Rodriguez, in a most fitting finish, went down swingingagainst Jose Valverde for the final out, the Tigers rushed out ofthe dugout to celebrate on New York's home field.

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