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04/06/2013 8:52 PM EDT
Tigers' Cabrera has 4 hits in 8-4 win over Yanks
DETROIT 8, NY YANKEES 4

By LARRY LAGE
AP Sports Writer

DETROIT (AP) -- Miguel Cabrera had more hits Saturday than he did
over the first four games of the season combined.



His teammates were pretty good, too.



Cabrera drove in one of four runs in the fifth inning on a
4-for-4 day and the Detroit Tigers beat the New York Yankees 8-4
Saturday.



Prince Fielder, one of six Tigers to drive in a run, had two
RBIs one day after a two-homer, five-RBI performance in an 8-3
win over New York.



"It's a long season, we just have to keep this going," Cabrera
said. "We have to stay focused and do our jobs so we can win as
many games as we can."



The reigning Triple Crown winner had at least one RBI in his
first four games this season and just three hits.



"One thing we're pretty sure of, he's going to hit," Tigers
manager Jim Leyland said



Max Scherzer (1-0) gave up four runs in five-plus innings to
pick up the win in a shaky start, his first of the season.



Phil Hughes (0-1) allowed four runs - three earned - on eight
hits in four-plus innings on a day he was originally scheduled
to make a rehabilitation start in the minors.



"I felt good early on," he said. "The fifth inning was a big
inning and I didn't make pitches when I needed to."



Detroit led 5-1 after five innings. New York pulled within a run
in the sixth, then let Detroit go ahead 7-4 in the home half.



The Tigers will play for a series sweep Sunday in a matchup of
aces, Detroit's Justin Verlander and New York's CC Sabathia.



Jayson Nix, filling in for Derek Jeter's injured backup, Eduardo
Nunez, failed to field a routine grounder that allowed leadoff
batter Austin Jackson to reach first. Jackson advanced to third
on Cabrera's single and scored on Fielder's sacrifice fly.



"That's the reason you have to get the leadoff guy out," Hughes
said. "It's a tough lineup, but if you make your pitches, it's
not that difficult."



Vernon Wells sent a 2-0 pitch into the left field seats in the
second to make it 1-all. Torii Hunter kept it tied by throwing
out Brennan Boesch - easily - on Francisco Cervelli's fly to
right after the outfielder got to, but couldn't catch Boesch's
drive.



Leyland said Hunter's throw was a "huge" part of the game.



"That's a bit of a momentum take-away," Leyland said. "And a
play like that can get lost in the shuffle."



Jackson hit his first of three singles in the four-run fifth in
which Hunter, Cabrera, Victor Martinez and Jhonny Peralta each
had an RBI.



"We swung the bats pretty good throughout the lineup and that's
a good thing to see," Leyland said. "We talk about it all the
time, when you extend your lineup like that, it's important."



Hughes, who was to pitch a Triple-A game Saturday as he
recovered from a back injury, had his outing ended when he gave
up a double to Hunter in the pivotal inning. Boone Logan entered
and gave up two hits and an unearned run, and getting only one
out.



"The fifth inning was a killer," Hughes said.



Hughes was one of five Yankees All-Stars on the disabled list
with Jeter, third baseman Alex Rodriguez, first baseman Mark
Teixeira and outfielder Curtis Granderson, leading to their 1-4
start.



"There's still a lot of time to turn things around," Hughes
said.



New York got back into the game, briefly, by scoring three in
the sixth and chasing Scherzer with two walks and Travis
Hafner's RBI single.



Al Alburquerque relieved Scherzer with a three-run lead, two on
and no walks. He gave Wells a free pass on four pitches and had
the good fortune of having a call overturned. Boesch lined out
to Fielder and the first baseman stepped on the bag before Wells
got there, but the first-base umpire signaled he was safe before
conferring with the home-plate umpire to fix his mistake.



"They got the play right, that's the most important part,"
Leyland said.



After Alburquerque gave up another walk, Lyle Overbay hit a
two-run single to pull the Yankees within a run.



Detroit restored a comfortable cushion with Fielder's RBI
groundout and Andy Dirks' single in the sixth along with strong
pitching from Downs and Benoit.



New York reliever Joba Chamberlain let Detroit take a four-run
lead into the ninth, loading the bases by giving up a single to
Cabrera and walking Fielder and Martinez to set up Dirks for a
sacrifice fly.



Darin Downs and Joaquin Benoit combined to pitch three scoreless
innings to finish up for the Tigers.



NOTES: Jeter, still recovering from left ankle surgery last
October, did limited field work for the second consecutive day
in Tampa, Fla. The shortstop fielded 41 grounders hit directly
at him near the left-field fence, hit off a tee in a batting
cage and played catch. ... The Tigers received their ALCS
championship rings, which they earned by sweeping New York, in a
pregame ceremony. ... Granderson could resume throwing next week
as part of his rehabilitation program for a broken right
forearm. The outfielder said Saturday he will have follow-up
X-rays Tuesday and also hopes to be cleared to start swinging a
fungo bat. ... Nunez, who was hit on the right biceps by a pitch
Friday, said he's still sore with a lot of pain and swelling and
probably won't play Sunday.

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