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Cabrera homers on birthday: Tigers 4, Mariners 2

Believe it or not, all three of these players are important reasons the Tigers have been scoring runs this year.
Believe it or not, all three of these players are important reasons the Tigers have been scoring runs this year.

Final - 4.18.2010 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Detroit Tigers 0 0 3 0 0 0 0 1 0 4 9 0
Seattle Mariners 0 1 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 2 7 1
WP: Max Scherzer (1 - 1)
SV: Jose Valverde (3)
LP: Ian Snell (0 - 2)

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Other than Jeremy Bonderman's awful inning on Friday, this series played out pretty much like expected. Low scoring throughout, with games that could have gone either way. Saturday, the Mariners won the two-run contest. And Sunday, Detroit took a victory by two.

Like Saturday's game, this one could have gone either way. The big difference maker was obviously Miguel Cabrera's towering 3-run homer in the third (and on his 27th birthday even), but Austin Jackson tacked on an insurance run in the eighth inning with an RBI single. And it was a good thing, because things got a bit close there for a moment.

Seattle got the tying run on base in the eighth with Ryan Perry pitching, but like Detroit so many times before, failed to make the best of the opportunity.

A leadoff triple in the first inning by Jackson left him stranded at third three outs later. That was just the first of many, as Detroit hit 2-for-18 with runners in scoring position and stranded 12.

But of course like I was saying earlier today, to strand a lot of runners, you have to have a lot of runners. So it's not all bad news for the Tigers. Right now, they trail only the Yankees in the American League in on-base percentage with .389. Last year, the OBP was a paltry .331. So I'll take a few more stranded runners, thankyouverymuch.

You can contribute the leap in getting on base this year at least in part to the newcomers. Jackson, Johnny Damon and Scott Sizemore have all done their parts by getting on base. Jackson has the lowest OBP of the three at .389 so far. He had three hits in the final game against the Mariners and six for the series. Damon is a bit higher at .396 after having a pair of hits and pair of walks. And Sizemore is at .400 after adding a pair of walks.

By the way, even Brandon Inge is taking the free base: he's at .400 after adding three more walks.

If Detroit can find a way to keep this up, good things will happen in the long run. And you know what? I don't think they'll keep getting on base at such a high rate, but I do believe they'll continue to be a lot better than last year.

Hopefully they'll just be able to plate a few more of them than they did today.

Congrats go out to Max Scherzer for earning his first win with Detroit.

Comment of the Night

OK, this is a three-parter.

The setup by okie for Michigan was humorless enough:

ajax looks older than 22

NC Dee stepped to the mound and lobbed one up:

Four months in this organization will do that to you.

and it was deposited over the fence by Dale S:

Jim Leyland is actually 32.