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Minnesota at Detroit

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Minnesota (92-63)000100000141
Detroit (80-75) «00030020x580

Tigers 5, Twins 1

CBSSports.com wire reports
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DETROIT -- Miguel Cabrera and the Detroit Tigers have been one of baseball's best home teams this season. Playing on the road has been the problem.

Cabrera hit his career-high 38th homer Sunday to help Detroit beat the Minnesota Twins 5-1 in its final home game of the year.

The Tigers set a Comerica Park record with 52 wins at home, but they're 19 games below .500 on the road and can finish no better than second behind the AL Central champion Twins.

More on Twins at Tigers

"If we played better away, we would've had a shot to win the division," said Cabrera, a force at the plate just about everywhere this season.

Cabrera leads the majors with 126 RBI -- 71 on the road - and ranks among the AL leaders with a .328 batting average and 45 doubles.

His two-run liner to left gave the Tigers a four-run lead in the seventh inning and set off an "MVP!" chant that awed the slugger.

"That's the first time I've ever heard it loud like that," Cabrera said.

Minnesota manager Ron Gardenhire said Cabrera is as good as any hitter in the game and he's become a solid defensive first baseman.

"Unless it is all about winning teams, that's your MVP," Gardenhire said. "We've been trying to pitch around him, and he's still hitting everything out of the park."

Rick Porcello (10-11) gave up a solo homer to Delmon Young and just three other hits over eight innings, getting run support from Cabrera and Ramon Santiago, who hit a three-run homer in the fourth.

Brian Duensing (10-3) allowed five runs, seven hits and four walks over 6 2/3 innings.

The hobbled Twins played without Justin Morneau, Joe Mauer, Denard Span,J.J. Hardy and Jason Repko.

"We're banged up, but they deserve most of the credit," Gardenhire said. "I don't think we are playing terrible baseball. Detroit is just playing really well right now."

The Tigers have won 15 of 23 games this month, closing relatively strong after going 24-31 in July and August to fall out of the division race.

"No excuses," manager Jim Leyland said. "We just weren't good enough."

The Tigers lost some key players to injuries -- Magglio Ordonez, Joel Zumaya and Carlos Guillen - during the year and Minnesota is missing some standouts toward the end of the season.

Gardenhire said he plans to use Mauer, who has a sore left knee, as a designated hitter Monday at Kansas City and could let him catch during the last weekend of the regular season at home against Toronto.

Morneau (concussion) might not make it back to help the Twins in the playoffs, but Span (foot), Hardy (knee) and Repko (thumb) are expected to be healthy enough to play later this week.

Notes

  • Tigers RHP Jeremy Bonderman and C Gerald Laird said before the game they don't expect to be back with the team next season.
  • Minnesota, trying to finish with the AL's best record, closes the regular season at home with three games against the Royals and four against Toronto.
  • The game drew 32,021 -- despite nothing being at stake and with the Lions playing at Minnesota -- to raise the season total to 2,461,237.
  • Detroit's previous record for wins at Comerica Park, which opened in 2000, was set last year with a 51-30 record.
 
Copyright 2014 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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Ramon Santiago crosses the plate after hitting a three-run shot against the Twins in the fourth.  (AP)
Ramon Santiago crosses the plate after hitting a three-run shot against the Twins in the fourth. (AP)

Players of the Game
Detroit

R. Santiago
AB 2
R 1
H 1
HR 1
RBI 3
Minnesota

D. Young
AB 4
R 1
H 2
HR 1
RBI 1
 
Minnesota Twins
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Ben Revere, CF4010000 .200
Orlando Hudson, DH4010001 .268
Delmon Young, LF4121021 .298
Michael Cuddyer, 1B4000012 .269
Jason Kubel, RF4000000 .248
Danny Valencia, 3B3000010 .324
Jose Morales, C2000110 .214
Matt Tolbert, 2B3000001 .237
Nick Punto, SS3000011 .246
Totals3114116  
Batting
HR - Delmon Young (19, Porcello)
RBI - Delmon Young (107)
SB - Orlando Hudson (9, 2nd base off Porcello/Laird)
Team LOB - 4
Fielding
E - Nick Punto (7, Misplayed grounder)
Minnesota Twins
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Brian Duensing (L,10-3) 6.2755432 2.44
Jon Rauch 0.1000000 3.12
Alex Burnett 1100010 5.00
Pitches-Strikes - Brian Duensing 109-67, Jon Rauch 5-3, Alex Burnett 13-12
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Brian Duensing 12-6, Alex Burnett 1-1
Batters Faced - Brian Duensing 32, Jon Rauch 1, Alex Burnett 4
Detroit Tigers
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Austin Jackson, CF5010011 .298
Casper Wells, RF3110101 .346
Ryan Raburn, LF4010013 .276
Miguel Cabrera, 1B4112002 .328
Jhonny Peralta, DH3000100 .250
Brandon Inge, 3B3110102 .248
Scott Sizemore, 2B3110022 .231
   a- Johnny Damon, PH1010000 .274
    Will Rhymes, 2B0000000 .288
Ramon Santiago, SS2113101 .266
Gerald Laird, C4000003 .208
Totals3258544  
a-singled for Sizemore in the 8th
Batting
2B - Austin Jackson (33, Duensing), Brandon Inge (28, Duensing)
HR - Miguel Cabrera (38, Duensing), Ramon Santiago (3, Duensing)
SH - Ramon Santiago (8)
RBI - Miguel Cabrera 2 (126), Ramon Santiago 3 (22)
2-OUT RBI - Miguel Cabrera 2 (42), Ramon Santiago 3 (11)
Team LOB - 8
Detroit Tigers
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Rick Porcello (W,10-11) 8411151 5.01
Jose Valverde 1000010 3.05
WP - Rick Porcello (11)
Pitches-Strikes - Rick Porcello 107-69, Jose Valverde 15-10
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Rick Porcello 10-9, Jose Valverde 1-1
Batters Faced - Rick Porcello 29, Jose Valverde 3
Game Information
Attendance - 32021
Game Time - 2:15
Temperature - 58
Umpires - Home - Alfonso Marquez, First Base - Tim Tschida, Second Base - Tim Timmons, Third Base - Bob Davidson