Cabrera’s double keys 6-2 win for Tigers
On the first pitch he faced, Cabrera turned a one-run deficit into a two-run lead and sent the Detroit Tigers on to a 6-2 victory Sunday.
“When you hit in the middle of the order, those are the situations you want,” said Cabrera, who leads the major leagues with 116 RBIs. “He threw me a fastball, and I got a good piece of it.”
With the Orioles ahead 2-1, Will Rhymes(notes) led off the eighth with a single against Mike Gonzalez (0-3) and took third on Ryan Raburn’s(notes) double. Orioles manager Buck Showalter brought in David Hernandez(notes), who got ahead 1-2 in the count to pinch-hitter Austin Jackson(notes) before loading the bases with a walk.
That foiled Showalter’s plan to intentionally walk Cabrera. He already has 30 intentional walks this season, four short of Ted Williams’ AL record.
“Obviously, at that point, we’re hoping David can strike Jackson out so that we can walk Cabrera, but it didn’t work out that way,” Showalter said. “You don’t want to pitch to him in a situation like that—you’ve seen what he has done to every team in the major leagues this year.”
“It was huge when Will got the hit to start the inning, but Miggy got us the big hit again,” Inge said following his 11th home run this season. “If I were managing against him, I’m not sure I’d even pitch to him with the bases loaded. He just kills everyone.
“I felt great out there—as good as I’ve felt all year,” said Verlander, who is 11-3 at Comerica Park this season. “My fastball was good, and I could throw my curveball wherever I needed it—for strikes or balls.”
Orioles starter Chris Tillman(notes) only allowed one hit—Inge’s clean single to center in the second—but walked a career-high six in his 6 2-3 innings. The Orioles are 23-15 since Showalter took over after a 32-73 start.
“Chris got himself into some trouble with the walks, but he kept making enough pitches to get himself out of trouble,” Showalter said. “He didn’t get intimidated by facing Verlander, even though he knew that meant he didn’t have much margin for error out there.”
Detroit, which got back to .500 at 72-72, began the game without Jackson, Johnny Damon(notes), Magglio Ordonez(notes), Carlos Guillen(notes) and Gerald Laird(notes)—either due to injury or rest. The lack of offense showed, with the Tigers managing one hit in the first seven innings.
Brennan Boesch(notes) walked and stole second in the second inning, then scored as Casper Wells(notes) beat out what would have been an inning-ending double play. Baltimore went ahead 2-1 in the fifth on an RBI triple by Jake Fox(notes), who played college ball at Michigan, and Verlander’s wild pitch.
“That was as big as the walk in the eighth inning,” Showalter said. “You don’t get many chances against Verlander, and you can’t miss one like that.”
NOTES: As soon as the game ended, the Tigers crowded around the clubhouse televisions to watch the end of the Lions’ controversial 19-14 loss to the Bears, with several reacting angrily to the call that negated what appeared to be a winning touchdown for Calvin Johnson. The Lions and Tigers, who play in adjoining stadiums, haven’t won on the same day since Sept. 30, 2007. … Boesch stole two bases in a game for the first time and walked three times for the third time in his rookie season. Two of the three came in day games against Baltimore at Comerica Park. … Tillman pitched a no-hitter on April 28 for Triple-A Norfolk. … Cabrera has 31 RBIs in 35 games against the AL East this season, including 18 doubles and 11 homers.