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Cabrera to 2,000 hits in Tigers' win over Orioles

The SportsXchange

DETROIT -- Left fielder Rajai Davis and right fielder Torii Hunter hit home runs Friday while first baseman Miguel Cabrera also reached the seats and a baseball milestone.

Davis hit a three-run home run following a 34-minute, fourth-inning rain delay and Hunter added a solo shot one out later to help the Detroit Tigers improve their record to 3-0 with a 10-4 victory over the Baltimore Orioles.

Cabrera had four hits, including a two-run home run and that shot in the eighth inning made him just the ninth player in the history of Major League Baseball to reach 2,000 career hits before the age of 31.

"He's pretty amazing," Detroit manager Brad Ausmus said. "I've just been with him a short while and I'm already running out of superlatives. To have that many hits at his age is pretty special."

"I don't feel like he's picking on us," Baltimore manager Buck Showalter said. "It's not like he's sneaking up on anybody."

Cabrera is the seventh-fastest to 2,000 hits and will not be 31 until April 18.

Getting Cabrera to talk about himself is tougher than teaching turtles to race, though.

"I was thinking before the game I just want to get my first home run this year," he said. "After I finish my career it will be great to look back. But right now I've got a job to do tomorrow. That's the only way I can stay focused. I've got to do my job. It's your job to write about it."

Cabrera drove in his first run of the season with a rocket past short in the seventh and his two-run shot to left in the eighth gave Detroit a 10-2 lead.

Lefty Drew Smyly (1-0), just shifted to the bullpen due to the combination of a rainout plus impending days off, earned the victory for three innings of one-hit shutout relief.

Detroit starting right-hander Anibal Sanchez was lifted after throwing 69 pitches prior to the delay with the Tigers leading, 3-2.

"Going into the restart he was going to pitch," Ausmus said. "But with the length of the delay, the pitching change, the fact he hadn't thrown much recently, I felt like I didn't want to tax him. I was thinking more long-term."

Baltimore right-handed starter Miguel Gonzalez (0-1) was permitted to continue after the rain delay.

"I don't think he had a real good feel for the ball," Showalter said. "But this time of year, that's an issue. That's part of it.

"I thought the difference in the game was they had Smyly stretched out and ready to pitch. He's a good pitcher. And working out of the bullpen, he's experienced at that."

Play had been halted by rain following singles by third baseman Nick Castellanos and shortstop Andrew Romine beginning the fourth. After the delay, Davis swatted a changeup over the left-field fence, and one out later, Hunter did likewise for a 7-2 Detroit lead.

Baltimore had taken a 2-0 lead on a two-run double by first baseman Chris Davis in the opening inning.

Castellanos drove in the first run of his major league career with a single in the second. Detroit tied the score when second baseman Ian Kinsler singled to center, and it took the lead, 3-2, on a bases-loaded wild pitch.

Southpaw Ian Krol worked a scoreless eighth. Right-hander Joba Chamberlain pitched the ninth for Detroit and allowed two runs on an RBI triple by catcher Steve Clevenger plus an RBI single by third baseman Jonathan Schoop.

NOTES: Detroit and Kansas City will make up their rained-out game from Thursday at 1:08 p.m. on June 19, previously an open date for both clubs following a three-game series they play at Comerica Park. ... Manager Buck Showalter made a couple of lineup changes for Baltimore in its first game in Detroit. C Matt Wieters was given his first day off and SS J.J. Hardy was out of the lineup with light back spasms. The Orioles had a night game with Boston on Thursday and arrived late in Detroit. .. Detroit manager Brad Ausmus lost his first challenge in three tries this season. He was denied on his appeal that SS Andrew Romine did not error on a throw from 2B Ian Kinsler in the fifth inning. ... Orioles 1B Chris Davis entered Friday's game hitting .394 (13-for-33) against the Tigers since Aug. 18, 2012, and hit a two-run double in the first inning.

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