Minnesota at Detroit

W: M. Scherzer (5-1) L: K. Gibson (3-3)
HR: MIN - B. Dozier (9)   DET - M. Cabrera (5),V. Martinez (8)

Cabrera picks up Scherzer to lead Tigers past Twins

CBSSports.com wire reports

DETROIT -- Miguel Cabrera, Victor Martinez and Max Scherzer will all happily give Jim Leyland credit for improving their careers.

Saturday, they got a chance to pay him back.

On the day the Tigers honored their former manager in a pregame ceremony, Cabrera and Martinez both hit three-run homers and Scherzer threw well enough to lead the Tigers over the Minnesota Twins 9-3.

''We had a lot of great memories with Jim, so we wanted to give him one more,'' Cabrera said. ''We wanted that for him, because of everything he did for us.''

Cabrera connected for his fifth homer, tagging Kyle Gibson (3-3), while Martinez hit his eighth of the season and fourth in the last six games.

''It was great to see Jim today, because he's still a big part of our family,'' Martinez said. ''You see him today, running around and hugging people, and you forget how old he is, because he doesn't have the attitude of an old man. He still seems young, and we all loved seeing him, because he has done so much for all of us.''

Scherzer (5-1) wasn't sharp yet still won, giving up three runs on five hits and four walks in six innings. He struck out six -- his team-record streak of fanning at least seven in seven starts to begin a season ended.

''I couldn't find my release point today, but I was able to get through it,'' he said. ''I gave up one big shot, but the rest of the time, I was able to make enough pitches to get the outs I needed and get out of any jams.

''And Leyland must have been proud. He always managed for Miggy and Victor to hit three-run homers for him,'' he said.

After the 69-year-old Leyland threw out the first pitch, another of his favorite players made an immediate impact.

Don Kelly, a utilityman who owes his major league career to Leyland's patience and trust, reached over the left-field fence in the first inning to steal a homer from Kurt Suzuki.

Kelly then scored the game's first run as the Tigers took a 2-0 lead in the second on RBI singles by Alex Avila and Andrew Romine. Detroit added another run when second baseman Brian Dozier dropped shortstop Danny Santana's flip, then threw wildly to the plate as Avila scored.

''Danny should have just thrown to first there, but he got himself into trouble by trying to get the out at second,'' Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. ''You can't make those kind of mistakes against that team.''

The error had major consequences, as Cabrera followed with his homer for a 6-0 lead.

''That was a huge mistake by the Twins, and we all knew it as soon as we saw the error,'' Scherzer said. ''If you let us extend an inning and get Miggy to the plate, he's going to make you pay for it. That's exactly what he did.''

The Twins closed the deficit on Dozier's long, three-run shot in the third, but weren't able to do anything else against Scherzer.

Anthony Swarzak relieved Gibson and pitched four shutout innings, but the damage had already been done.

''I just got behind too many guys, and then you have to come in over the plate,'' Gibson said. ''You can't do that against a team like Detroit. They are a pretty good team when you have to throw the ball down the middle.''

Martinez broke open the game with a three-run homer off Michael Tonkin in the seventh. Martinez, who is hitting .328 at the age of 35, is on pace to easily surpass his career high of 25.

''I knew Victor was a great hitter before I got here, but he has continued to surprise me all season,'' said Leyland's successor as manager, Brad Ausmus. ''I keep saying it -- I've never seen a hitter like him.''

Tigers reliever Phil Coke got into the game in his latest role as the mop-up man. He allowed a leadoff single, drawing boos from the crowd, but Cabrera helped him out with a 3-6-3 double play that led to a shutout inning.

''We need to get Phil going in games like this so that we can work him in to tougher situations,'' Ausmus said. ''Miggy helped him out today, and hopefully, this will get the ball rolling.''


The Tigers honored Leyland and had him throw out the first pitch to longtime friend and Tigers bench coach Gene Lamont. Leyland, the only manager to lead Detroit to four postseason appearances, was also presented with a framed painting by team president Dave Dombrowski, Justin Verlander and Cabrera. ''It was a great run for eight years,'' Leyland said before the game. ''I only wish we could have brought a World Series trophy to this city.'' ... A fan behind the Twins dugout got an ovation after catching a foul ball with his left hand while cradling his daughter in his right arm. ... Scherzer's eight games with at least six strikeouts is the second-longest streak to start a season in franchise history, trailing his own 19-game run last year.

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Miguel Cabrera hits HR No. 5 to back Max Scherzer, who allows three runs on five hits and four walks in six innings. (USATSI)
Miguel Cabrera hits HR No. 5 to back Max Scherzer, who allows three runs on five hits and four walks in six innings. (USATSI)

Players of the Game

B. Dozier
AB 5
R 1
H 1
HR 1

V. Martinez
AB 4
R 1
H 2
HR 1

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Minnesota Twins
Brian Dozier, 2B5113021 .236
Kurt Suzuki, C4010100 .300
Joe Mauer, DH3010101 .297
Chris Colabello, 1B4000034 .257
Chris Parmelee, RF4010012 .375
Eduardo Nunez, LF3000110 .200
Eduardo Escobar, 3B4020000 .322
Aaron Hicks, CF3100124 .163
Danny Santana, SS4120013 .412
Kyle Gibson, P0000000 .000
   Anthony Swarzak, P0000000 .000
   Michael Tonkin, P0000000 .000
   Jared Burton, P0000000 .000
2B - Eduardo Escobar 2 (8, Scherzer), Danny Santana (3, Scherzer)
HR - Brian Dozier (9, Scherzer)
RBI - Brian Dozier 3 (17)
CS - Chris Parmelee (1, 2nd base by Scherzer/Avila)
Team LOB - 8
DP - Colabello-Santana-Gibson
E - Brian Dozier (3, Throwing), Aaron Hicks (1, Misplayed grounder)
Minnesota Twins
Kyle Gibson (L,3-3) 2766111 4.74
Anthony Swarzak 4100030 5.40
Michael Tonkin 1233001 4.66
Jared Burton 1100000 6.75
HBP - Cabrera (by Michael Tonkin)
Pitches-Strikes - Kyle Gibson 48-26, Anthony Swarzak 50-35, Michael Tonkin 12-9, Jared Burton 12-10
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Kyle Gibson 3-2, Anthony Swarzak 4-5, Michael Tonkin 1-2, Jared Burton 1-2
Batters Faced - Kyle Gibson 14, Anthony Swarzak 13, Michael Tonkin 6, Jared Burton 4
Detroit Tigers
Ian Kinsler, 2B5010003 .301
Torii Hunter, RF3210100 .316
Miguel Cabrera, 1B3213012 .282
Victor Martinez, DH4123001 .328
Austin Jackson, CF4010001 .303
Don Kelly, LF4120000 .355
Nick Castellanos, 3B4110021 .248
Alex Avila, C4111002 .230
Andrew Romine, SS4111012 .220
Max Scherzer, P0000000 .000
   Al Alburquerque, P0000000 .000
   Joba Chamberlain, P0000000 .000
   Phil Coke, P0000000 .000
2B - Victor Martinez (7, Gibson), Don Kelly (2, Gibson), Nick Castellanos (6, Burton)
HR - Miguel Cabrera (5, Gibson), Victor Martinez (8, Tonkin)
RBI - Miguel Cabrera 3 (28), Victor Martinez 3 (22), Alex Avila (8), Andrew Romine (2)
2-OUT RBI - Miguel Cabrera 3 (12)
SB - Ian Kinsler (4, 3rd base off Gibson/Suzuki)
Team LOB - 4
DP - Cabrera-Romine
E - Nick Castellanos (2, Misplayed grounder)
Detroit Tigers
Max Scherzer (W,5-1) 6533461 2.04
Al Alburquerque (H,4) 1100020 3.95
Joba Chamberlain 1100020 3.29
Phil Coke 1100000 8.31
WP - Max Scherzer (2)
Pitches-Strikes - Max Scherzer 116-73, Al Alburquerque 15-10, Joba Chamberlain 17-11, Phil Coke 8-6
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Max Scherzer 4-8, Phil Coke 1-1
Batters Faced - Max Scherzer 27, Al Alburquerque 4, Joba Chamberlain 4, Phil Coke 3
Game Information
Attendance - 42312
Game Time - 2:50
Temperature - 67
Umpires - Home - Joe West, First Base - Clint Fagan, Second Base - Marty Foster, Third Base - Al Porter