Tigers 7, Blue Jays 3: Miguel Cabrera leads 15 hit attack

Leon Halip

The Tigers take game one of their series with the Blue Jays behind the arm of Anibal Sanchez and the smoking hot bats of Torii Hunter and Miguel Cabrera.

Led by Miguel Cabrera's four hits and four RBI, the Detroit Tigers knocked off the Toronto Blue Jays 7-3.

Anibal Sanchez (1-1) picked up his first win of the season, pitching seven innings, allowing just two runs on five hits. Brandon Morrow (0-1) was tagged for nine hits and five runs, knocked out of the game after 3 2/3 innings.

Colby Rasmus homered for the Jays, Melky Cabrera adding three hits. Cabrera's four hits, including a three run home run, led the Tigers' 15 hit attack. Torii Hunter also joined in on the hit parade with three hits, including the 2000th of his 17 year career.

The game starting with threatening weather overhead, the Tigers took an early 1-0 lead on back-to-back base hits by the big boys, Cabrera and Prince Fielder.

Cabrera singled with two out, then raced all the way home on Fielder's double off the scoreboard in deep right center.

Donnie Baseball, aka Don Kelly, saved a run in the 2nd with a spectacular catch, leaping above the left field fence to rob J.P. Arencibia of a solo home run.

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After landing face first on the warning track, Donnie Baseball just brushed of the dirt, pulled his socks up high and went back to work.

The lead was extended to 2-0 in the 2nd on Alex Avila's moonshot of a solo home run, a towering fly ball landing just over the right field wall.

The Blue Jays finally got to Sanchez in the 3rd.

Leading off, Emilio Bonifacio ripped a liner to center. Playing shallow, Austin Jackson took what appeared to be a bad route, the ball zipping by him. Bonifacio cruised into the 3rd with a stand up triple. Jose Reyes' RBI single past Omar Infante made it a 2-1 game.

Hunter led off the bottom of the inning by doubling off the bottom of the wall at the 420 mark in center field. In a nice piece of hitting, Cabrera took an 0-2 pitch to right for a single. 3rd base coach Tom Brookens sent Hunter, but the throw from Rajai Davis was on line, Arencibia sweep tagging Hunter on the hand on a bang-bang play.

The Tigers would load the bases with two out on walks to Andy Dirks and Avila. The squander was official when Jhonny Peralta weakly bounced out 4-3 to end the threat.

Cabrera muscled up in the 4th, breaking the game wide open and knocking Morrow out of the box with one swing.

There was two down when Morrow saw the Tigers' top of the order for the third time. It was also the last. Jackson singled to center, Hunter followed the same, Jackson scooting to 2nd. Two on, two out.

On a 3-1 pitch, Cabrera lowered his bat on Morrow's breaking ball, homering into the first row of the right field seats, to give the Tigers a 5-1 lead. Out was Morrow, lefty Brett Cecil taking over.

The Blue Jays. -- well, actually Reyes -- manufactured a run in the 5th. Reyes singled, stole 2nd and scored on Jose Bautista's single, pulling the Jays to within three at 5-2.

Sanchez reached the 7th inning at 104 pitches and on a short leash. Drew Smyly and Al Alburquerque were up in the pen. They wouldn't be needed, Sanchez ended a quick 1-2-3 inning having set the last seven Jays down in a row.

The Tigers would load the bases in the bottom of the the 7th with no one out against Esmil Rogers, then squandered an opportunity to put the game out of reach.

Fielder walked, then Andy Dirks and Avila singled, loading the bases for Peralta. The grammatically challenged one had just as bad of a bases loaded at bat as he did the first time with the the bases juiced, popping up for the first out.

Donnie Baseball followed and hit the ball on the screws -- but his line drive was right at Rasmus for the second out. Infante's squibber to 1st ended a infuriating series of at bats, the Tigers failing to extend their 5-2 lead.

Sanchez having received the "Handshake of Doom," Smyly took over in the 8th, facing the top of the Jays order. He would pitch to three batters, sandwiching a Melky Cabrera single between outs by Reyes and Bautista. Alburquerque wrapped up the inning on Edwin Encarnacion's 5-4 fielder's choice.

In the bottom of the 8th, Maicer Izturis would set up the Tigers' sixth run of the day when he threw Jackson's ground ball into right field for a three base error. Cabrera made the Jays pay for not walking him with 1st base empty, ripping an RBI single to left.

After Fielder reached on a line single, Matt Tuiasosopo pinch hit for Dirks. The Jays countered by bringing in a right-hander out of the bullpen to face him, Edgar Gonzalez. Defying his career splits, Big Squggles yanked an RBI double into the left field corner, Cabrera crossing the plate.

Joaquin Benoit pitched the 9th and made Tigers fans more nervous than they needed to be. Benoit allowing one out home run to Rasmus and a double to Adam Lind. But he would get the final two outs to nail down the 7-3 victory.

The Tigers move back over .500 at 4-3. The Blue Jays disappointing start to the season continues, falling to 2-5 on the young season. The teams face off again Wednesday afternoon at Comierica Park for game two of the three game series.

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