Cabrera’s homer lifts Tigers to doubleheader sweep of Twins
Miguel Cabrera hit a tiebreaking two-run homer in the bottom of the fifth inning, lifting the Detroit Tigers to a 4-2 victory and a doubleheader sweep of the Minnesota Twins on Saturday.
The Tigers won the first game 8-2.
Rookie Tarik Skubal (1-1) allowed two runs in five innings in the second game for his first big league win, and Matthew Boyd (1-4) contributed his first quality start of the year in the opener.
Gregory Soto allowed the first two batters to reach base in the final inning of the second game, but he got Miguel Sano to hit into a double play and closed the game out for his first career save.
It was also a milestone day for Cabrera. He moved past Tigers great Charlie Gehringer and into 50th place on the career major league hits list. After three hits Saturday, Cabrera now has 2,841.
Nelson Cruz hit a solo homer in each game for the Twins. Jeimer Candelario went deep in the second game for the Tigers.
Skubal is one of a handful of young pitchers Detroit may be able to rebuild around. He pitched only 4 1/3 innings combined in his first two starts, but on Saturday he allowed three hits without a walk and kept the Tigers firmly in the game.
Detroit has won six of its last eight, recovering nicely after a nine-game losing streak that threatened to knock the Tigers out of postseason contention.
Skubal got some help from his teammates. Center fielder Victor Reyes — who had four hits in the opener — reached above the wall in the fourth inning of the second game to take a homer away from Miguel Sano.
Then Jake Cave, Minnesota’s center fielder, returned the favor on the game’s next plate appearance, making a similar catch at the top of the wall on a drive by Cameron Maybin.
Reyes made another terrific catch in the sixth, diving to snag a shallow flyball by Max Kepler.
It was tied at 2 when Cabrera hit an opposite-field homer off Tyler Duffey (1-1) in the fifth. The Twins were going with a bullpen game in the second game after Randy Dobnak (5-2) had a rough go of it in the opener.
Boyd pitched six innings, allowing one earned run and four hits with six strikeouts. The Tigers could have won the opener by more if they hadn’t grounded into four double plays in the seven-inning game.
Dobnak allowed six runs and 12 hits in 4 1/3 innings.
“Being a groundball pitcher, guys are going to put the ball in play a lot,” Dobnak said. “They found holes, and ultimately that’s just the game of baseball, and going forward, I’ve got to erase that from my mind.”
Cabrera hit a two-run double in the sixth inning of the first game to pull even with Gehringer.
Candelario hit a two-run shot to put the Tigers up 2-1 in the third inning of the second game, but Cruz evened the score with a drive to left in the fourth.
The series opener between these teams Thursday was called off amid athlete protests for racial justice. Then a doubleheader Friday was postponed because of the weather.
Twins: RHP Jake Odorizzi (bruised ribs) said he’s been able to play catch recently. He was hit by a line drive Aug. 21. “Looks like I got kicked in the chest by a horse," he said. … Manager Rocco Baldelli said 3B Josh Donaldson (calf) could potentially be back during the team’s next homestand.
Another highly touted young pitcher takes the mound Sunday when Casey Mize (0-1) starts for Detroit against Kenta Maeda (4-0). Mize was the No. 1 pick in the 2018 draft.