DETROIT -- Mike Pelfrey was no help to the Detroit Tigers but four home runs by the offense were just enough to push for a win. Backed by a strong outing and two homers from Miguel Cabrera, the Tigers won 5-4 over the Philadelphia Phillies in the interleague series opener.
Another night, another poor start from Mike Pelfrey. This time he got bit by the long ball and the Tigers offense nearly didn't save his bacon. He still doesn't have a coveted win as a Tiger, and while he went six innings on the night and didn't walk a batter, he was not sharp in the least. He gave up two home runs, four runs in all, and 11 hits, striking out just three batters.
The Tigers offense was doing little in the way of taking advantage of scoring opportunities. All but one of their runs came via the home run, and third base Dave Clark sent Victor Martinez on a double by Nick Castellanos that he had no business in doing so. That derp occurred in the third inning after Cabrera had homered for the first time and V-Mart had singled.
V-Mart should've been held at third to keep the line going, but Clark sent V-Mart and the DH was understandably upset after being tagged out 10 feet from home plate. He would later drive in the go-ahead run in the seventh on an RBI single that plated Cabrera from third, but that wasn't the only chance spoiled by the offense.
Ian Kinsler was unusually silent at the plate and the bottom of the order was a black hole -- James McCann and Jose Iglesias were 0-for-8. Were it not for Cabrera's two-homer day and the home runs by J.D. and Castellanos, the Tigers would be facing a loss instead of a win.
Miguel Cabrera: A two-homer day will get a roar every time. He also walked and doubled.
Dingers: Well, three home runs in one inning is showing off. But who cares. J.D. Martinez, Miguel Cabrera, and Nick Castellanos all homered and Cabrera had already hit one out in the third inning.
Middle of the order: Combined, Cabrera, Victor Martinez, and Castellanos were 8-for-10 with three home runs and two walks.
Francisco Rodriguez: K-Rod struck two out and gave the Tigers a 1-2-3 innings with only a one-run lead to work with. He was devastating in the best way possible.
Mike Pelfrey: Gave up four runs on 11 hits across six innings pitches. And two home runs. Not good any way you slice it.
Pace of play: Brad Penny thought this game was too slow. The very first at-bat took 14 pitches and you don't to know how long. Odubel Herrera was a pesk both offensively and biding his time at the plate. During his at-bat in the fifth, he and Pelfrey took four minutes and 35 seconds to get through it, which ultimately ended in a single. Pelfrey throughout the game was painfully slow regardless.
STREAKS AND STATS:
- Miguel Cabrera's home run in the third inning marked his 10th of the season. He later launched his 11th in the fifth inning for the 36th multi-homer game of his career. The second homer marked the third time this year Cabrera has had a multi-homer game. His last multi-home game was on May 20 vs. the Rays.
- Cabrera's second home run gave him 27 multi-homer games with the Tigers, third-most in team history. Only Hank Greenberg (32) and Cecil Fielder (29) have more.
- Cabrera's double in the seventh marked the 500th double of his career. He's the 62nd player in MLB history to reach that mark.
- J.D. Martinez's home run in the fifth was his 10th of the year. It's his fifth homer in the last eight games.
- Cameron Maybin has reached base at least twice in all seven games played since being activated from the disabled list. He has recorded multi-hit games in five of those seven games, and has struck out only three times during that period.
- Cabrera's and J.D. Martinez's back-to-back homers marked the fifth time the Tigers had gone back-to-back in a game. Their last was on May 17 vs. the Twins.
WIN PROBABILITY GRAPH: