A rash of injuries has forced Detroit manager Alan Trammell to adjust his lineup. The tinkering paid off Friday.
The Tigers hope to get more help from their bench players as they resume a four-game series with the Minnesota Twins at the Metrodome.
Outfielder Craig Monroe is out with a strained left hamstring and Rondell White (right foot) was limited to designated hitter duty Friday. Center fielder Alex Sanchez remains in Miami awaiting the birth of twin sons, and probably wouldn’t be playing anyway because of a sore right foot.
Smith delivered two homers in just his 19th game this season, helping the Tigers to a 5-3 win Friday. It was the first multihomer game for Smith, whose three home runs this season have all come against the Twins.
“I wouldn’t say I’m a home-run hitter,” Smith said. “If I hit a home run, it’s usually a mistake.”
The Tigers will need similar performances if they hope to continue winning.
Second baseman Fernando Vina (right hamstring strain) and utility man Brandon Inge (broken right index finger) remain on the disabled list, and Dmitri Young was a late scratch Friday because of a sore ankle. All-Star catcher Ivan Rodriguez tweaked a hip flexor during the game, and Carlos Pena was hit on the left hand by a pitch, but both stayed in the game.
“We are limping in (to the All-Star break),” Trammell said. “To win a game like tonight was very important.
“I’m concerned about some of our players. It’s been an incredible week. I think everybody’s looking forward to (the break).”
Carlos Guillen homered and knocked in three runs for Detroit, which has lost three of four since a five-game losing streak.
Torii Hunter had two doubles for the Twins, who had a four game winning streak snapped. Minnesota posted three straight shutout wins during the win streak.