After a surprisingly poor start, the Detroit Tigers are on the verge of topping the .500 mark for the first time this season.
The surging Tigers look for a fifth straight victory while trying to sweep their three-game series from the Colorado Rockies on Sunday at Comerica Park.
The Tigers, who beefed up an already potent lineup by trading for Cabrera in the offseason, are 16-4 since June 6, when they were 12 games under .500 and 10 games out of first in the AL Central. Now, Detroit is just five games back of first-place Chicago.
“Gives us a clean slate and something to build on,” said Jones, coming off his first blown save in 15 chances this season.
On Saturday, Ryan Raburn hit his first career grand slam for Detroit, which is 12-5 and hitting .302 during interleague play.
Cabrera, meanwhile, is 4-for-9 with three RBIs in this series.
“That’s good tonic for Miguel and good tonic for us,” said Detroit manager Jim Leyland of Cabrera, who is hitting .279 with 11 homers and 47 RBIs in his first AL season. “That’s the Miguel we traded for. I think we’ll see a lot more than that.”
The Tigers might need Cabrera to pick up more of the slack if 2007 AL batting champion Magglio Ordonez is out for any amount of time after leaving Saturday’s game because of spasms in his side. Ordonez, who will be evaluated further on Sunday, is batting .307 with 12 home runs and 50 RBIs after hitting .363 last season.
Kenny Rogers (5-5, 4.60 ERA) looks to bounce back from his most recent start when he takes the mound for Detroit on Sunday. He allowed five runs and nine hits in 5 1-3 innings of an 8-4 loss to St. Louis on Tuesday after giving up four earned runs in his previous five starts.
The left-hander has pitched well against Colorado during his career, going 3-0 with a 2.78 ERA in five starts, but hasn’t faced the Rockies since 2003 while with Minnesota.
Colorado (32-49) looks to avoid a seventh straight loss as it closes a six-game trip Sunday.
“I was impressed with our guys for the late rally but we just couldn’t nail it down,” Colorado manager Clint Hurdle said. “This was a team loss.”
Holliday is batting .358 (24-for-67) with 13 RBIs in 18 games since coming off the disabled list on June 10 from a hamstring injury. He is 8-for-15 in five contests against Detroit.
Greg Reynolds (2-5, 5.68) has alternated wins and losses in his last four starts and takes the ball for Colorado on Sunday. He gave up three runs and six hits in seven innings of a 3-1 loss to the New York Mets on Sunday.
The rookie right-hander is 1-0 with 0.75 ERA in two interleague starts this season and will make his first against Detroit.