|Detroit (63-55) «||1||0||0||2||1||0||0||1||0||5||12||0|
MINNEAPOLIS -- Miguel Cabrera set another record, Max Scherzer recovered from a brief bout with wildness and frustration, and the Detroit Tigers headed home in a good mood after a rough start to this road trip.
They're still right there in the playoff race, despite months of substandard play.
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Cabrera became the first player in Tigers history to reach 30 home runs in five straight seasons and Scherzer threw seven scoreless innings for Detroit in a 5-1 victory over the Minnesota Twins on Wednesday.
"I'm awful proud of our guys," said Tigers manager Jim Leyland, claiming the 8-3 loss at Texas on Sunday was the only time all year he was disappointed with their performance. After losing three straight games, they rebounded with two wins here, beginning the day two games behind the Chicago White Sox in the AL Central.
Cabrera also singled in the fifth off Cole De Vries (2-4) to push his majors-leading total to 103 RBI. His opposite-field solo shot in the first inning put the Tigers in front, and Scherzer (12-6) struck out 10 batters to move ahead of teammate Justin Verlander for the AL lead for at least a few days. Delmon Young added a two-run homer against his former team.
"It's not about one person. I'm more excited because we're winning today," Cabrera said.
The time to look back will come later.
"When my career's over?" he said, smiling. "It's a long way to go to talk about my numbers. That's good, but Detroit's seen a lot of great players."
Cabrera went 6 for 14 in this series and 10 for 24 on the trip. He's a .411 hitter at Target Field, with five home runs in 90 at-bats here.
"That dude's a beast," said De Vries, who hasn't won since June 30. He allowed eight hits, four runs and two walks while striking out three and failing to record an out in the fifth.
The Tigers have won 25 of their last 34 games against the Twins. Overall, they've won 27 of 43 since June 28, the best record in the league during that stretch.
Scherzer started the game in fitting fashion, striking out the first two batters in the first inning and then walking the first two Twins he faced in the second. The 28-year-old has continued to fight persistent control problems and high pitch counts that hinder his ability to work deeper into games, but he's also become one of baseball's most powerful pitchers.
So what happened after those two walks to start the second? He struck out three straight to finish the inning.
"I hate walking guys. I just hate it," Scherzer said, adding: "You just can't give hitters credit and be afraid of them."
Scherzer walked just those two batters and allowed four hits. The right-hander improved to 6-1 with a 3.36 ERA in his last nine starts and reached double-digit strikeouts for the fourth time this year. He threw 117 pitches, matching his third-most this season.
"I needed to just fire myself up and just go after them and be aggressive with it. Once I fired myself up, put the adrenaline in and started letting the fastball lead, that's when I got back into the zone," Scherzer said.
The Twins played without center fielder Denard Span for the third straight game because of a sore right shoulder.
They put the leadoff man on three times, including Justin Morneau's seventh-inning double, but couldn't manage more against Scherzer. Joe Mauer's RBI single in the eighth against Octavio Dotel kept the Twins from being shut out for the first time since June 23 at Cincinnati.
|Miguel Cabrera becomes the first player in Tigers history to reach 30 home runs in five straight seasons. (Getty Images)|
|Players of the Game|
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|Austin Jackson, CF||5||0||0||0||0||1||4||.310|
|Andy Dirks, RF||4||1||1||0||1||2||2||.337|
|Miguel Cabrera, 3B||5||1||2||2||0||0||1||.327|
|Prince Fielder, 1B||4||0||3||0||0||0||0||.309|
|Alex Avila, C||5||1||1||0||0||1||5||.260|
|Delmon Young, DH||4||1||1||2||0||1||3||.265|
|Jhonny Peralta, SS||4||1||2||0||0||0||2||.263|
|Omar Infante, 2B||4||0||1||1||0||0||1||.291|
|Quintin Berry, LF||3||0||1||0||1||1||1||.274|
|2B - Andy Dirks (14, De Vries), Jhonny Peralta 2 (28, De Vries, Gray)|
|HR - Miguel Cabrera (30, De Vries), Delmon Young (13, De Vries)|
|RBI - Miguel Cabrera 2 (103), Delmon Young 2 (49), Omar Infante (43)|
|2-OUT RBI - Miguel Cabrera (36)|
|SB - Quintin Berry (16, 2nd base off Manship/Mauer)|
|Team LOB - 9|
|Max Scherzer (W,12-6)||7||4||0||0||2||10||0||4.41|
|Pitches-Strikes - Max Scherzer 117-75, Octavio Dotel 23-16, Joaquin Benoit 13-9|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Max Scherzer 6-4|
|Batters Faced - Max Scherzer 26, Octavio Dotel 5, Joaquin Benoit 3|
|Ben Revere, CF||4||1||2||0||0||1||0||.319|
|Darin Mastroianni, RF||4||0||1||0||0||3||1||.287|
|Joe Mauer, C||4||0||2||1||0||1||1||.320|
|Josh Willingham, LF||4||0||0||0||0||2||3||.261|
|Justin Morneau, 1B||3||0||1||0||1||1||0||.276|
|Ryan Doumit, DH||3||0||0||0||1||1||1||.294|
|Trevor Plouffe, 3B||4||0||0||0||0||2||3||.247|
|Jamey Carroll, SS||3||0||0||0||0||2||3||.245|
|Alexi Casilla, 2B||3||0||0||0||0||1||2||.220|
|2B - Justin Morneau (24, Scherzer)|
|3B - Ben Revere (4, Dotel)|
|RBI - Joe Mauer (59)|
|2-OUT RBI - Joe Mauer (22)|
|CS - Ben Revere (7, 2nd base by Scherzer/Avila)|
|Team LOB - 6|
|DP - Carroll-Casilla-Morneau|
|Cole De Vries (L,2-4)||4||8||4||4||2||3||2||5.04|
|HBP - Fielder (by Jeff Manship)|
|Pitches-Strikes - Cole De Vries 84-50, Jeff Manship 48-28, Jeff Gray 17-12, Glen Perkins 8-6|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Cole De Vries 4-5, Jeff Manship 2-5, Glen Perkins 1-1|
|Batters Faced - Cole De Vries 22, Jeff Manship 11, Jeff Gray 5, Glen Perkins 3|
|Attendance - 37118|
|Game Time - 3:08|
|Temperature - 72|
|Umpires - Home - Jim Wolf, First Base - Chris Guccione, Second Base - Derryl Cousins, Third Base - Al Porter|