Snap Reaction: So Miguel Cabrera DOES remember how to hit home runs. I was starting to wonder.
With Detroit trailing by a run in the ninth inning, appearing to be in yet another no-luck funk, the Tigers' star flexed his muscle. After recent sparkplug Quintin Berry started the rally with a single and stolen base, Cabrera picked a good time to hit his first home run since May 15, and just his second of the entire month.
The center field shot lifted Detroit to a 4-3 lead.
The Tigers swept the Twins and closed to within three games of the Indians just days after being swept by the Tribe. What a week. Maybe the disaster in Cleveland will be a rallying point again, as it was in May of 2011. You never know.
The Tigers started the game with gusto, as Berry walked and Andy Dirks singled. Cabrera followed suit with a single of his own, driving in a run, though he got tagged while lolly-gagging back to first base after taking the turn. Prince Fielder walked, and later avoided the double play off Brennan Boesch's bat just long enough for the second run to score. (Fielder was tagged for the third out, rather than forced out.)
With that, the first inning ended. So did the Tigers' scoring for nearly the rest of the game -- not that they didn't get chances. In fact, Detroit had plenty of chances but reverted to their runner-stranding ways, leaving 10 on base.
On the other side of things, Rick Porcello, battling his own defense, allowed three runs. The second and third Twins' scores were more the fault of Porcello giving up hits to right-center than his defense, though.
And that was basically it. Same story written many times before, this time with a ninth-inning reprieve.
Berry had three hits -- he became the first Tigers batter since at least 1918 to record hits in each of his first five games in the big leagues -- two stolen bases and a diving catch in the ninth inning. He's been a nice addition so far.
Andy Dirks had another multi-hit game, with two. (I need a macro for that sentence.) Fielder had a double and single, and Cabrera had a home run and single.
Duane Below and Brayan Villarreal had nice efforts in relief of Porcello. Villarreal earned the win, and Jose Valverde his second save in as many days.
Don Kelly earned scowls by going 0-for-3 and popping out on a bunt. He stranded five. Brennan Boesch went 0-for-3 and stranded seven.