Slumping Cabrera hits tiebreaking single, Tigers beat Twins
Slumping Miguel Cabrera hit a tiebreaking single to key a five-run burst in the seventh inning that sent the Detroit Tigers over the Minnesota Twins 7-3 on Saturday.
Cabrera had two hits, raising his batting average to .149. The longtime star now has 2,876 hits, tied with Mel Ott for 44th on the all-time list.
Robbie Grossman had three hits, including a home run, for the Tigers. It was 2-all when Grossman and Harold Castro opened the seventh with singles off Tyler Duffey (0-2).
“Tyler is one of my best friends back home, and I know him like the back of my hand,” Grossman said. “This will give me some bragging rights while we are working out during the offseason.”
After both runners advanced on a groundout, Cabrera put Detroit ahead.
“That was a rough outing all around for (Duffey) — he just didn’t have the stuff he’s had earlier in the season,” Twins manager Rocco Baldelli said. “That’s a game he just needs to scrub off and forget.”
Niko Goodrum and Jake Rogers added two-out, two-run singles off Derek Law.
“We’ve been working with Niko on hitting the ball hard up the middle when the infield is drawn in on him.” Tigers manager A.J. Hinch said. “So that’s a good piece of hitting, but it is also a case of being prepared for the situation. That’s what makes good things happen.”
Michael Fulmer (2-2) got the win with 2 2/3 scoreless innings. Starter José Ureña allowed two runs on nine hits in 4 1/3 innings.
Minnesota starter José Berríos gave up two runs on six hits and five walks in six innings.
“I was really impressed by the way José battled out there,” Baldelli said. “He wasn’t sharp and they had a lot of runners on base, but he gave us six innings and a chance to win the game. We just didn’t take advantage.”
After the Twins left runners on second and third in the first, Grossman led off the bottom of the inning with a line drive into the right-field stands.
“José is a great pitcher with outstanding stuff,” Grossman said. “I knew we were going to need good at-bats to get anything off him, and that’s how it worked out.”
Detroit increased its lead to 2-0 in the fourth when Nomar Mazara tripled and Goodrum doubled.
Josh Donaldson tied the game with a two-run homer off Ureña in the fifth, and Minnesota loaded the bases with one out. Fulmer replaced Urena and got Miguel Sano on a popout and Ben Rortvedt on a flyout.
“When they tied the game, I started moving around a little, and then I got the call to get ready in a hurry,” Fulmer said. “That’s about as fast as I’ve ever warmed up, but I was able to pick José up and get out of the inning.”
The Tigers had runners on the corners with no outs in the bottom of the fifth, but Grossman broke for the plate on a line drive to center that was caught. Realizing he couldn’t beat Jake Cave’s throw, Grossman tried to go back to third, but got doubled off.
Donaldson’s RBI double made it 7-3 in the eighth.
Twins: Minnesota selected the contract of Law from Triple-A St. Paul and optioned RHP Cody Stashak to the Saints. … OF Trevor Larnach made his major league debut, going 0 for 3 and being hit by pitch.
Tigers: Detroit activated Mazara from the injured list and sent OF Victor Reyes to Triple-A Toledo. Mazara had been sidelined with an abdominal strain since April 15. The Tigers also placed RHP Erasmo Ramirez (pectoral strain) on the 10-day injured list and recalled RHP Joe Jimenez from Toledo.
TOUGH START TO THE SEASON
Law was pitching his first major league game since he got two outs for the Toronto Blue Jays on Sept. 28, 2019.
“That’s obviously a tough spot for him, but we don’t want to use a high-leverage guy when we are already behind in the game,” Baldelli said. “That’s a spot where we need Derek and other guys to step up and keep us in a game.”
The teams finish their three-game series on Sunday. Kenta Maeda (2-2, 5.02) is scheduled to start for the Twins against Detroit’s Matthew Boyd (2-3, 2.37).