Miguel Cabrera got the Detroit back on track by adding to his power surge. He’ll try to keep that going while helping the Tigers continue their recent success against the Minnesota Twins.
Rick Porcello will also seek to lead Detroit to its eighth win in 11 games versus Minnesota on Tuesday night while extending his personal win streak to six.
Detroit had suffered back-to-back losses to visiting Kansas City before Cabrera hit a pair of home runs in wins over the weekend. He ended Saturday’s 6-5 victory with a solo shot and his 40th of the season started the Tigers (73-51) toward a 6-3 win in Sunday’s finale.
Cabrera, who has eight homers and 20 RBIs in his last 13 games, is the third player since 1921 to have at least 40 home runs and 120 RBIs while hitting .350 or better through 116 games, joining Babe Ruth and Jimmie Foxx.
“I mean, I’ve never seen anything like it, and this is 50 (years in baseball) for me,” manager Jim Leyland told the team’s website.
Cabrera, however, is batting just .238 (5 for 21) with no homers and two RBIs in his last six games against the Twins but he’s hitting .381 with five home runs and 16 RBIs in his last 12 home matchups. Detroit has won five of its last seven games at Comerica Park against Minnesota (54-69).
The Tigers will have a good chance to add to that success as the Twins have dropped four in a row and six of seven. They went 0 for 10 with runners in scoring position in a 6-1 loss to the New York Mets on Monday and are batting .152 in those situation in the last 16 games.
“The offense did nothing today,” manager Ron Gardenhire told the team’s website. “Again, we missed opportunities with runners on, and it seems like that’s the ongoing theme.”
Porcello (9-6, 4.33 ERA) will try to keep Minnesota quiet once again while adding to his win streak. The right-hander has a 2.62 ERA in his last seven starts but gave up a season-high 11 hits in his most recent one Wednesday on the road against the Chicago White Sox.
Porcello escaped with minimal damage over his six innings, allowing three runs in a 6-4 win.
He gave up just three hits over seven innings in a 4-0 win over Minnesota on June 14, after going 0-1 with a 6.00 ERA in his previous five meetings.
Porcello will pitch opposite Mike Pelfrey (4-10, 5.26), loser of four straight decisions. The right-hander is also 0-2 with a 5.75 ERA in his last four starts and might not end his woes Tuesday.
Pelfrey is 0-3 with a 7.47 ERA in three career starts in Detroit and gave up five runs over 5 2-3 innings in a 6-1 loss May 26.
Cabrera is 4 for 14 (.286) against Pelfrey, collecting a pair of singles in six at-bats this season. The Tigers are hoping Omar Infante can return from an ailing back as he’s 15 for 34 (.441) versus Pelfrey.
Josh Willingham is 7 for 16 (.438) all-time against Porcello and has hit two home runs off him this season.