Miguel Cabrera became the 1st player in Detroit Tigers history to reach 30 home runs in 5 straight seasons and Max Scherzer threw 7 scoreless innings for Tigers in 5-1 superiority over the Twins.
Cabrera also singled in the 5th off Cole De Vries (2-4) to bump his majors-leading total to 103 RBIs. His opposite-field solo shot in the 1st inning put the Detroit Tigers in front, and Scherzer (12-6) struck out 10 batters to move ahead of colleague Justin Verlander for the American League lead for no less than a few days. Delmon Young added a 2-run homer in opposition to his previous team.
The Tigers commenced the day 2 games behind Chicago in the American League Central, with 7 contests remaining between them this season, and they kept the pressure on the White Sox – as well as the wild card leaders – with a well-rounded performance against a division rival that used to be a nemesis for them.
The Tigers have won 25 of their last 34 games against the Minnesota Twins, who rallied to beat them out for the Central title in both 2006 and 2009. Overall, Detroit has won 27 of 43 since June 28, the best record in the league during that stretch.
Cabrera went 6 for 14 in this series and 10 for 24 on the trip.
Scherzer started the game in fitting fashion, striking out the 1st 2 batters in the 1st inning and then walking the 1st 2 Twins he faced in the 2nd. The 28-year-old has continued to fight persistent control problems and high pitch counts that hinder his capability to work more deeply into games, but he’s also become one of baseball’s most powerful pitchers.
So what occurred after those 2 walks to start the 2nd? He struck out 3 straight to finish the inning.
Scherzer walked just those 2 batters and allowed 4 hits. The right-hander improved to 6-1 in his last 9 starts and reached double-digit strikeouts for the 4th time this year. He threw 117 pitches, matching his 3rd-most this season.
Young was traded to the Tigers a year ago to the day, and he homered against the Twins that time, as well. This, though, was only the 2nd time he went deep in 113 at-bats since the All-Star break. He has 13 home runs this season.
De Vries stumbled badly the last time he took the mound, by far the worst of his 12 career starts, when he gave up 8 runs, got only 4 outs and described the batting practice display by Tampa Bay as an ”ambush job.” The right-hander was better this time, but he failed to record an out in the 5th before Jeff Manship was summoned from the bullpen. NFL odds
De Vries hasn’t won since June 30. He allowed 8 hits, 4 runs and 2 walks while striking out 3.
The Twins played without center fielder Denard Span for the 3rd straight game as a result of a sore right shoulder.
They put the leadoff man on 3 times, including Justin Morneau’s 7th-inning double, but couldn’t manage more against Scherzer. Joe Mauer’s RBI single in the 8th against Octavio Dotel kept the Minnesota Twins from being shut out for the 1st time since June 23 at Cincinnati.