Pittsburgh at Detroit

W: B. Thomas (4-0) L: J. Lopez (1-1)
S: J. Valverde (13)
HR: PIT - G. Jones (10)   DET - A. Avila (3),M. Cabrera (19)

Cabrera's homer in eighth lifts Tigers over Pirates

CBSSports.com wire reports

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.

Guillen and Johnny Damon, who drew a two-out walk against reliever Javier Lopez, were on base when Cabrera became the first major league hitter to reach 19 homers and 56 RBI this season.

"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.

Brad Thomas (4-0) replaced Galarraga and got the final out in the eighth inning for the win. Jose Valverde closed it for his 13th save, but gave up a run to end his scoreless streak at 25 appearances

Garrett Jones hit a solo homer in the second inning and an RBI double in the fourth to put Pittsburgh ahead 2-0.

Alex Avila hit a solo shot to center in the seventh to pull the Tigers within a run. Cabrera put them ahead on a homer off Octavio Dotel the next inning, handing Lopez (1-1) the loss.

"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."


  • Detroit rookie OF Austin Jackson left after a half-inning because of back spasms and is day to day.
  • Magglio Ordonez (strained oblique) missed his sixth straight game, but said he will play Tuesday when Detroit hosts the Washington Nationals.
  • Pirates RHP Charlie Morton (shoulder) is scheduled to make a rehab start with Triple-A Indianapolis.
  • Pirates OF Jose Tabata has a hit in each of his four career games.
  • Pittsburgh was swept by Detroit for the first time in eight matchups.
Copyright 2017 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
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Miguel Cabrera puts the Tigers on top with his key three-run homer in the eighth inning.  (Getty Images)
Miguel Cabrera puts the Tigers on top with his key three-run homer in the eighth inning. (Getty Images)

Players of the Game

M. Cabrera
AB 4
R 1
H 1
HR 1

G. Jones
AB 4
R 1
H 2
HR 1

Related Video

Pittsburgh Pirates
Jose Tabata, LF4010001 .313
Neil Walker, 2B4000002 .286
Andrew McCutchen, CF4120000 .307
Garrett Jones, 1B4122001 .274
Ryan Doumit, C4110001 .268
Ryan Church, RF4000002 .186
Delwyn Young, DH2001101 .233
Andy LaRoche, 3B3000000 .236
   a- Akinori Iwamura, PH1000000 .177
Ronny Cedeno, SS3010001 .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
Pittsburgh Pirates
Jeff Karstens 7622131 4.50
D.J. Carrasco (H,3) 0.2000010 3.78
Javier Lopez (L,1-1)0011100 2.35
Octavio Dotel (BS,3) 0.1111001 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
Detroit Tigers
Austin Jackson, CF0000000 .308
   a- Ryan Raburn, PH-LF4000001 .165
Ramon Santiago, SS4000011 .246
Johnny Damon, DH2120200 .294
Miguel Cabrera, 1B4113003 .330
Brennan Boesch, RF4010000 .342
Brandon Inge, 3B3010010 .253
Alex Avila, C3111012 .219
Don Kelly, LF-CF3000001 .231
Danny Worth, 2B2000012 .257
   b- Carlos Guillen, PH-2B1110000 .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
Detroit Tigers
Armando Galarraga 7.2622101 2.67
Brad Thomas (W,4-0) 0.1000000 4.40
Jose Valverde (S,13) 1111000 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
Game Information
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