Considering where things seemed to be heading just two days ago, the Detroit Tigers would have excitedly taken a .500 road trip if given the chance. A big day by Miguel Cabrera and more clutch pitching by Max Scherzer provided Detroit with a solid, 5-1 road win against the Minnesota Twins, which pushed them back home with a respectable road record.
Picking up where he left off last night, Cabrera started the day on a good note by blasting his 30th home run of the season to right field. The Tigers led 1-0, and on this day, that lead would have sufficed. Scherzer, continuing the theme of good starting pitching that Doug Fister started last night, was dealing. He struck out five batters throughout the first two innings, keeping the Twins off the scoreboard and the bases despite throwing plenty of pitches. Detroit didn’t hit Cole De Vries again until the fourth, when Alex Avila singled and Delmon Young homered to give the Tigers a 3-0 advantage. Cabrera added another RBI single in the fifth, and the Tigers led 4-0. Scherzer continued his dominance, and Minnesota didn’t find the scoreboard through the first six innings.
Both teams traded runs in the eighth, with Omar Infante singling in a run, and the Twins finally answering back following a triple by Ben Revere off Octavio Dotel. Needing to get straightened out, Jim Leyland sent Joaquin Benoit out to pitch the ninth inning. Finally, after getting knocked around the last few weeks, Benoit’s adjustments apparently worked. He struck out the first two batters he faced, and induced a line out from Trevor Plouffe to wrap things up.
Big Cat: Miguel Cabrera. Two more RBI’s today for Cabrera, who has shattered the century mark in two days. He also pounded his 30th home run of the season. The beat goes on every year for Cabrera, who can be penciled in for 30 home runs and over 100 RBI’s every single year. That consistency personifies a big cat, and this performance deserves recognition.
Stray Kitty: None. Every player except Austin Jackson had a hit while Benoit looked better out of the bullpen. Not much to complain about on Wednesday afternoon from a personnel standpoint.
Best Play Of The Game: Max Scherzer’s approach. Today, Scherzer was dealing. He struck out 10 batters, and didn’t have to face down much trouble at all through seven innings. After being up and down at times this year, it was nice to see Scherzer continue his electric strikeout trend. It was also important that he went deeper in the game, giving Detroit’s bullpen a bit of a breather for a second day in a row.
Worst Play Of The Game: None. A clean game today with no errors and few mistakes provided the Tigers with a .500 road trip. Considering where things were two days ago, that was important.
Central Focus: The Tigers victory keeps them in lock step with the White Sox in the division race. Chicago plays tonight against Toronto, so with a loss, Detroit can pick up another game and slice the deficit to 1.
On Deck: The Tigers take a much needed day off. Then, the Baltimore Orioles come to town for three games beginning Friday night. Justin Verlander opposes Tommy Hunter in the first game at 7:05 p.m.