|Detroit (33-29) «||0||0||0||0||0||0||1||3||x||4||7||0|
DETROIT -- Miguel Cabrera made an impressive swing look effortless.
Cabrera drove an outside pitch over the right-center fence in the eighth inning for a go-ahead, three-run homer that sent the Detroit Tigers to a 4-3 victory over the skidding Pittsburgh Pirates on Sunday.
"As long as you watch baseball, you won't see many guys that hit the ball to opposite field like that," Tigers manager Jim Leyland said. "People get used to it around here. But trust me, in the history of the game, there's not many guys that take it out to opposite field like it's nothing."
Leyland managed one of those players, Barry Bonds, for the first seven years of his career. Since Bonds left the Pirates in 1992 to sign with San Francisco, they haven't had a winning record.
Pittsburgh, an NL-worst 23-40, has lost a season-high eight straight to push the franchise closer to extending its run of futility. The Pirates have had 17 straight losing seasons, the longest streak in Major League Baseball, the NFL, NBA and NHL.
They looked as though they might finally end their skid until Carlos Guillen, who hit a leadoff home run in the 10th inning to give Detroit a 4-3 win Saturday night, singled as a pinch-hitter to open the eighth and chase starter Jeff Karstens.
"Tough game," Pirates manager John Russell said.
Pittsburgh has had a lot of those.
Detroit, meanwhile, got another win at home, where its 20-10 record has helped offset a 13-19 mark on the road to leave the Tigers 2½ games behind AL Central-leading Minnesota.
Armando Galarraga gave up two runs in his first home start since his near-perfect game.
"It was an unbelievable experience here that night, but it is important that I keep it in the past," he said.
Garrett Jones hit a solo homer in the second inning and an RBI double in the fourth to put Pittsburgh ahead 2-0.
"Big-time players want to be up there in big situations," Leyland said. "That's why they're big-time players."
Cabrera simply shrugged when told Leyland said that.
"Everyone wants to be in that situation," he said. "I'm just doing my job."
Russell is having a hard time doing his, leading a team that is struggling to score runs and is getting spotty pitching.
Karstens was charged with two runs on six hits and a walk in seven-plus innings, his longest start this season.
"Karstens did a great job, and he turned it over to the bullpen and they couldn't finish it off," Russell said. "That doesn't change what he did, a great start when we really needed one."
The Pirates are averaging just 2½ runs per game during their losing streak.
Jones has done his part. He hit his second homer in two days -- and 10th this season. He also had two hits for the third straight game and drove in two runs in the series finale.
"When you are in a slump like this, everything you hit hard goes right at someone," Jones said. "That's what happened to everyone but me."
|Miguel Cabrera puts the Tigers on top with his key three-run homer in the eighth inning. (Getty Images)|
|Players of the Game|
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|Jose Tabata, LF||4||0||1||0||0||0||1||.313|
|Neil Walker, 2B||4||0||0||0||0||0||2||.286|
|Andrew McCutchen, CF||4||1||2||0||0||0||0||.307|
|Garrett Jones, 1B||4||1||2||2||0||0||1||.274|
|Ryan Doumit, C||4||1||1||0||0||0||1||.268|
|Ryan Church, RF||4||0||0||0||0||0||2||.186|
|Delwyn Young, DH||2||0||0||1||1||0||1||.233|
|Andy LaRoche, 3B||3||0||0||0||0||0||0||.236|
|a- Akinori Iwamura, PH||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||.177|
|Ronny Cedeno, SS||3||0||1||0||0||0||1||.240|
|a-flied out for LaRoche in the 9th|
|2B - Garrett Jones (14, Galarraga), Ryan Doumit (12, Valverde)|
|HR - Garrett Jones (10, Galarraga)|
|SF - Delwyn Young (1)|
|RBI - Garrett Jones 2 (39), Delwyn Young (14)|
|Team LOB - 5|
|DP - Walker-Cedeno-G. Jones|
|D.J. Carrasco (H,3)||0.2||0||0||0||0||1||0||3.78|
|Javier Lopez (L,1-1)||0||0||1||1||1||0||0||2.35|
|Octavio Dotel (BS,3)||0.1||1||1||1||0||0||1||5.70|
|WP - D.J. Carrasco (3)|
|Pitches-Strikes - Jeff Karstens 96-67, D.J. Carrasco 11-8, Javier Lopez 5-1, Octavio Dotel 6-5|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jeff Karstens 8-9, Octavio Dotel 1-0|
|Batters Faced - Jeff Karstens 27, D.J. Carrasco 2, Javier Lopez 1, Octavio Dotel 2|
|Austin Jackson, CF||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.308|
|a- Ryan Raburn, PH-LF||4||0||0||0||0||0||1||.165|
|Ramon Santiago, SS||4||0||0||0||0||1||1||.246|
|Johnny Damon, DH||2||1||2||0||2||0||0||.294|
|Miguel Cabrera, 1B||4||1||1||3||0||0||3||.330|
|Brennan Boesch, RF||4||0||1||0||0||0||0||.342|
|Brandon Inge, 3B||3||0||1||0||0||1||0||.253|
|Alex Avila, C||3||1||1||1||0||1||2||.219|
|Don Kelly, LF-CF||3||0||0||0||0||0||1||.231|
|Danny Worth, 2B||2||0||0||0||0||1||2||.257|
|b- Carlos Guillen, PH-2B||1||1||1||0||0||0||0||.299|
|a-grounded out for Jackson in the 1st|
|b-singled for Worth in the 8th|
|HR - Miguel Cabrera (19, Dotel), Alex Avila (3, Karstens)|
|RBI - Miguel Cabrera 3 (56), Alex Avila (6)|
|2-OUT RBI - Miguel Cabrera 3 (21), Alex Avila (4)|
|Team LOB - 4|
|Brad Thomas (W,4-0)||0.1||0||0||0||0||0||0||4.40|
|Jose Valverde (S,13)||1||1||1||1||0||0||0||0.66|
|Pitches-Strikes - Armando Galarraga 106-67, Brad Thomas 3-1, Jose Valverde 12-8|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Armando Galarraga 9-14, Brad Thomas 1-0, Jose Valverde 1-2|
|Batters Faced - Armando Galarraga 30, Brad Thomas 1, Jose Valverde 4|
|Attendance - 31243|
|Game Time - 2:33|
|Temperature - 71|
|Umpires - Home - Gerry Davis, First Base - Sam Holbrook, Second Base - Greg Gibson, Third Base - D.J. Reyburn|