After another big night, Cabrera tries to help the Tigers hand the struggling Kansas City Royals their seventh consecutive loss when the teams continue their series Saturday night at Kauffman Stadium.
Detroit (63-65) got a pair of solo homers from Cabrera and threw out the Royals’ David DeJesus trying to score on a wild pitch to end the game in a 4-3 victory Friday.
After a similar slow start that seemed to plague most of Detroit’s big-name lineup, Cabrera has come alive offensively during his first season with the Tigers, who have won five of eight, but are 11 games out of the AL Central and wild-card leads
The former Florida Marlin is batting .314 with 11 homers and 42 RBIs in 34 games since the All-Star break compared to a .284 average, 16 home runs and 57 RBIs in 92 contests prior to the break.
“It is pretty impressive the numbers he is putting up, especially after he started out a little slow,” Friday’s winning pitcher Justin Verlander said.
Cabrera is batting .405 (15-for-37) with three home runs and 13 RBIs against Kansas City (55-73) this season and is 5-for-12 with a homer versus the Royals’ Saturday starter Kyle Davies.
Davies (5-4, 4.71 ERA) returns after being optioned to the minors Aug. 15. The right-hander has lost his last two major league starts, allowing three runs and nine hits in five innings of a 9-2 loss at Chicago on Aug. 14.
He is 1-2 with a 4.02 ERA in three starts versus the Tigers and allowed two runs in four innings of a 7-1 loss to them on July 22.
The Tigers counter with Zach Miner (6-4, 3.94 ERA), who makes his seventh consecutive start since entering the rotation at the end of July. Minor allowed five runs and six hits in 1 1-3 innings of a 16-8 loss to Baltimore while not factoring in the decision for a second straight outing.
“I felt good before the game, and then before I could blink, they had five hits,” said Miner, who is 3-1 as a starter. “I was just shocked.”
The right-hander is 1-2 with an 8.44 ERA against Kansas City and allowed three hits in six scoreless innings of a 19-4 win over the Royals on July 21.
Aviles continues to perform well since making his major league debut on May 29, batting .333 with seven home runs and 35 RBIs in 68 games.
Already plagued by injuries, Kansas City placed reliever Ron Mahay on the disabled list Friday with a plantar fasciitis on his left foot and is expected to do the same with third baseman Alex Gordon, who injured his leg Thursday against Cleveland. They’ll join second baseman Mark Grudzielanek (ankle) and pitcher Luke Hochevar (rib) on the DL.
“It is pretty bad right now as far as injuries go,” Royals manager Trey Hillman said.