Cabrera and the Tigers look to move three games above .500 for the first time in nearly two months when they continue a three-game series against the Kansas City Royals on Tuesday night.
Although it’s been out of playoff contention for a while, Detroit (76-74) looks to be finishing the season strong. The Tigers have won four straight and 11 of 17. After outscoring the White Sox 24-12 during a three-game sweep, Detroit opened this series against the Royals (61-88) with a 7-5 win Monday.
“I got to enjoy that home run a lot longer than most people. That was the longest home run jog ever,” said Rhymes, who is 4 for 11 with five RBIs the last three games.
Detroit is averaging 6.1 runs over its last 17 games and has won seven straight against AL Central opponents.
While Detroit’s offense has been revitalized, Cabrera had fallen off his impressive pace. He went 1 for 4 on Monday to drop his average to a season-low .325. He’s 3 for 25 with eight strikeouts in his last six games and is hitting .196 this month.
Cabrera, who still leads the majors with 119 RBIs, said before the game that his recent shoulder issues were not an explanation for his slump.
The Detroit first baseman is 7 for 12 with two doubles and two home runs against Bruce Chen(notes) (10-7, 4.70 ERA), who will take the mound for the Royals on Tuesday. A win would move the Tigers three games above .500 for the first time since July 27.
Chen, however, is trying to win his third straight decision.
The veteran left-hander gave up three runs in five innings of a 6-3 win over Oakland on Wednesday. He is 2-0 with a 3.97 ERA in his last four starts.
Chen is 1-1 with a 7.07 ERA in three starts against the Tigers this season. He allowed four runs in 4 2-3 innings of a 6-4 loss Sept. 4.
The Tigers will counter with Armando Galarraga(notes) (4-6, 4.27), who is winless in his last five starts. He earned his first decision over that stretch against Texas on Wednesday, tying a career high with eight runs and eight hits allowed in 3 2-3 innings of an 11-7 loss.
Galarraga is 2-0 with a 1.87 ERA in seven starts versus the Royals, but the Tigers have lost his last four starts against them, including two this season. The right-hander has given up two runs and nine hits in 11 1-3 innings this year.