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The Detroit Tigers offense went into a mini slump on Friday, scoring only one total run in a doubleheader loss to the Kansas City Royals. Miguel Cabrera wasn't going to allow that to carry over on Saturday though. After doubling to give Detroit a 4-3 lead in the fourth, Cabrera came up again leading off the ninth inning with the game tied and delivered the sixth walk-off home run of his Hall of Fame career to give the Tigers a 6-5 victory.
Of course the natural question to ask next is why would Kansas City even bother having Aaron Crow pitch to Cabrera in that position. Walking the lead-off batter isn't a great option, either, but it's better than the ultimate result.
And it may have even got Cabrera's bat out of the game all together.
''Every at-bat, every game, you want to do something good, because I think people pay for that,'' Cabrera said.
Cabrera has been slowed by a strained lower abdomen, injured hip and banged-up left leg. He was healthy enough to take a victory lap and looked relatively comfortable rounding the bases as a sellout crowd of 41,850 cheered.
''When you hit a home run like that, you're loose, smooth,'' he said.
Who's this guy kidding? He's always smooth.
Nationals topple Braves in marathon: Very little about this game was pretty, but the Washington Nationals escaped with a desperately needed 8-7 victory in 15 innings. The craziness started almost immediately as starting pitchers Mike Minor and Stephen Strasburg lasted a combined 2 2/3 innings. Minor was pulled for performance, Strasburg received his first career ejection after plunking Justin Upton (intentionally) and throwing behind Andrelton Simmons (likely unintentional).
That set up an extremely long night for the bullpens, which became even longer when Jason Heyward tied the game with a two-out, two-run homer in the ninth inning against Rafael Soriano. Six innings later, Washington finally prevailed on Adam LaRoche's solo homer off current Braves starter Kris Medlen, but not before Washington's fifth starter Dan Haren had to pitch the bottom half of the inning to earn his first career save in 319 MLB appearances.
I told you it was wild.
Dodgers 5, Phillies 0: Clayton Kershaw continued to cement his position as the front runner for National League Cy Young with eight scoreless innings, lowering his season ERA to 1.80 in the process. According to Yahoo!'s Jeff Passan, if he can keep it there or even lower it, he'll join some elite company.
Only 12 times since World War II has a SP finished with an ERA of 1.80 or lower. Clayton Kershaw after eight shutout innings today: 1.80.
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) August 18, 2013
The victory also runs the Dodgers current winning streak to ten, and gives them 42 wins in their last 50 games. We go back to Jeff Passan to help us put that into perspective.
Remember that amazing Miami Heat run this year? Went 43-7 over their final 50 games. The Dodgers are 42-8 in their last 50.
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) August 18, 2013
Is there a better word than remarkable to the describe the Dodgers current roll? I can't come up with one.
Cardinals 4, Cubs 0: St. Louis returns the favor after being shut out in series opener.
Red Sox 6, Yankees 1: Two more hits for Alfonso Soriano, but John Lackey did a solid job subduing the hitters around him.
Diamondbacks 15, Pirates 5: National League home run leaders Paul Goldschmidt and Pedro Alvarez each hit No. 30.
White Sox 8, Twins 5: Chicago put an emphatic end to Andrew Albers 17 1/3 scoreless streak. Dayan Viciedo's three-run homer provided the difference.
Orioles 8, Rockies 4: Baltimore blew the game wide open with a seven run third inning.
Giants 6, Marlins 4: Pablo Sandoval's RBI infield single opened the door for San Francisco's four run fourth.
Blue Jays 6, Rays 2: JA Happ returned to the scene of his scary head injury in May and put up 5 1/3 innings of two-run baseball.
Brewers 2, Reds 0: In his first start since July 30 (hamstring injury), Yovani Gallardo was dominant in allowing only three hits and two walks over 6 1/3 innings.
Rangers 15, Mariners 3: That eight run eighth inning was totally unnecessary, but probably a lot of fun for Texas.
Padres 8, Mets 2: Bad news for New York as starter Jenrry Mejia left with discomfort in his surgically repaired elbow.
Indians 7, A's 1: Ubaldo Jimenez wasn't razor sharp (five walks), but carried a no-hitter into the sixth inning. He walks away with his ninth victory.
Angels 6, Astros 5 (10 inn.): Josh Hamilton is your hero with the game-winning home run.
We'll make it a Tweet of the Day from Rays manager Joe Maddon.
Congratulations to JA Happ on how well he pitched tonight based on what happened to him the last time he pitched here.
— Joe Maddon (@RaysJoeMaddon) August 18, 2013
Jason Kipnis of the Cleveland Indians wears a special GoPro Camera on his helmet during batting practice in Oakland.
• For the first time in franchise history, the Cubs have been shut out five times in a span of seven home games. (h/t Elias via ESPN Stats & Info)
• Ernesto Frieri is the 16th Angels pitcher to be credited with a victory this season.
• The A's will place Bartolo Colon on the 15-day disabled list Sunday with a strained left groin.