Grand start for Yankees

Curtis Granderson may have been surprised to have made it into the Yankees’ lineup on Thursday, but there was no doubt about his home run that pushed his team ahead on Opening Day.

Cleared to begin the season after mending a strained oblique muscle quicker than anticipated, Granderson connected off ex-Yankee Phil Coke for a solo seventh-inning homer, nudging New York ahead en route to a 6-3 victory over the Tigers.

It was the third consecutive Opening Day home run for Granderson, who was dealt to the Yankees in December 2009 as the biggest chip in a three-way trade that also sent Coke to the Tigers from New York.

Granderson also made two ridiculous catches in center — one in the first inning and the other a Willie Mays-esque grab in the ninth.

Mark Teixeira’s three-run home run in the third inning accounted for the Yankees’ scoring against Justin Verlander, who walked four and struck out eight.

–Bryan Hoch

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