Behind home runs from Prince Fielder, Miguel Cabrera and Andy Dirks, and seven strong innings on the mound from Justin Verlander, the Tigers beat the Twins, 6-4, Saturday at Target Field. The magic number stands at 3 after Chicago lost to Tampa Bay.
Nursing a 2-0 lead, Cabrera blasted a three-run home run, giving Detroit a five-run lead and, just as importantly, allowing Cabrera to tie Texas' Josh Hamilton in the home-run race. With his 43rd home run of the season, Cabrera leads all three triple crown categories. Dirks homered later in the inning for the 6-0 lead.
However, the Twins made a run at the end. An error by Jhonny Peralta and ineffective relief from Joaquin Benoit in the eighth inning set up a nailbiter after Minnesota's Ryan Doumit hit a grand slam to cut the score to 6-4.
Jose Valverde allowed a leadoff walk to reach in the ninth before finishing off the game for his 33rd save.
Verlander allowed a run -- unearned due to Peralta's error -- on four hits and two walks. He struck out eight. Al Alburquerque helped get the Tigers out of the eighth inning after Benoit's stumbles.
In the second inning, Fielder gave the Tigers a 1-0 lead with a leadoff home run -- his 29th homer of the year. Peralta later doubled to score Dirks.