Entering the game on a 22 inning scoreless skid, the Tigers’ offense was bound to break loose on Saturday. Miguel Cabrera doubled and launched his third home run to lead his squad to a 9-5 victory.
The Detroit Tigers’ lineup has been scuffling the past few games. There was plenty of bad luck involved, but they also failed to capitalize on opportunities. Saturday night that all turned around. They got on board in the first with consecutive singles from Cabrera and Nicholas Castellanos, the latter of which plated Jeimer Candelario. This was the prelude. In the second inning they jumped all over Orioles starter, Andrew Cashner.
Jose Iglesias singled, Dixon Machado walked, and then Leonys Martin singled home Iglesias. With a run already in, and runners at second and third after a Cashner wild pitch, Orioles manager Buck Showalter elected not to give Cabrera a free pass. Bad move. The big man lofted a three-run shot over the big wall in right to make the score 5-0.
It was Cabrera getting it done in the fourth. He hit a liner to left that was misplayed into a two-run double instead of the single it appeared to be off the bat. JaCoby Jones smoked his second double of the day in the seventh, and raced home on a James McCann single to make it 8-1.
Francisco Liriano, meanwhile, was cruising along, getting a lot of weak contact and quick outs. It was a peculiar outing considering Liriano’s propensity to rack up strikeouts and allow as many walks as hits. Yet it allowed him to pitch into the seventh inning, where he finally needed a little help and couldn’t find it.
A single and a walk convinced manager Ron Gardenhire that Liriano’s day was done. With a sizable lead, he turned to Warwick Saupold, who quickly compounded the danger. Saupold walked the bases loaded, and then hit a batter and walked another, fouling Liriano’s line and forcing Gardenhire back to the bullpen.
Joe Jimenez came on with two outs and the bases loaded to face Manny Machado. The Orioles star has been hot of late, and after a battle featuring a series of nasty changeups from Jimenez , Machado squirted a routine ground ball right up the middle for a single to plate two runs. The big reliever shook it off and got Adam Jones to pop-out to extricate the Tigers from trouble with an 8-5 lead.
That was as close as the Orioles would get. Jimenez and then Shane Greene shut out the O’s in the eighth and ninth, while Victor Martinez ripped a ninth inning solo shot, his third on the year, for a little insurance.
Miggy is just getting warmed up
We worried about it all offseason, and at some point we’ll worry some more, but right now, Miguel Cabrera is just hammering the baseball. He’s got nine doubles and three bombs already, while batting .333 thus far. The hard contact is plentiful. The hard contact in the air? Less so, but that doesn’t tend to come from Cabrera until the weather improves, and in the meantime he is crushing anyway. His second inning blast gave him 465 on his career to pass Dave Winfield on the all-time list. Chipper Jones at 468 home runs is next. A cool 157 wRC+ tells you that Miguel Cabrera is still Miguel Cabrera. Enjoy.
Juicy J rebounds after a tough stretch
Since the middle of the month, Jones has been on fire in April. Yet one knew some regression was due. Three hitless games marked by some of his old swing-and-miss tendencies sobered people a bit. Yet Jones bounced back on Saturday, spraying doubles down both lines and scoring a run on the night. There’s a long way to go to prove out a legitimate change in approach and ability as a hitter, but Jones isn’t turning back into a pumpkin just yet.
Who was the Tigers player of the game?
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Miguel Cabrera in the second inning
Miguel Cabrera in the fourth inning
No really, the answer is Miguel Cabrera