David Price settled in to have a strong outing and was given all the run support he needed. The Tigers offense went to town against the wiped-out Indians, clobbering them for 20 hits and five home runs.
The Tigers moved back into a tie for first place with the Royals in the AL Central with a rousing 12-1 win over the Indians. A strong start from David Price was supported by five home runs, with Miguel Cabrera blasting two after a month-long home run drought.
Price battled the Indians in the beginning, giving up the lone run in the first, but he settled in to have a solid outing and shut down the Indians to earn his 13th win of the season. Interestingly, Price didn't have a 1-2-3 inning but that didn't seem to matter to him.
When the batters are turning around and walking back to their dugout before the umpire finishes announcing they've struck out, it's a good day on the mound. It may not have happened on every occasion, but it was an apt description of the way Price bounced back to keep the Indians from any major threat.
The offense hit the stuffings out of the baseball and forced an early exit out of starter Corey Kluber after just 2 2/3 innings, handing the right-hander his shortest start of the season. Miguel Cabrera returned to the lineup as the designated hitter for the day after taking Sunday off.
Cabrera led the charge offensively, going 4-5 with two home runs. As has been typical all season, Cabrera was open to discussing anything except his health, deferring any questions to the training staff or Tigers manager Brad Ausmus.
Regardless of how Cabrera feels after a day more indicative of his MVP-like self, a solid win, (offensively and defensively) was a stark contrast to the sloppy game they had played on Sunday. Aside from a couple of misplays in the outfield, it was a decent game defensively.
Offensively, Alex Avila delivered two RBI, finishing 2-4 with a walk, Victor Martinez hit a two-run home run, J.D. Martinez smacked a solo shot, and Tyler Collins delivered a definitive final statement in the ninth inning, smashing a three-run homer to dead center.
September: Turning the calender month to September, coupled with a stern talking to the team by Ausmus got the Tigers going. Even the call-ups (one named Steven Moya, who had his first major league at-bat) including Tyler Collins, had huge hits. Collins had the last say though, as he knocked a three-run homer into the bushes in center field for his first major league home run, giving the Tigers their final 12-1 score. (MLB.com video)
David Price: He didn't record a 1-2-3 inning and he walked two, but in the eight hits he gave up, only one scored on an RBI single in the first inning. He was solid throughout the game and finally received the run support he rightfully should have since becoming a Tiger.
Alex Avila: A seven-pitch plate appearance in the second resulted in a walk against Kluber. He later hit a solid RBI single in the seventh against a left-handed pitcher, giving him a 2-4 day with a walk and the RBI.
Ian Kinsler: A leadoff triple to right field in the first inning got the Tigers off to a great start. He later reached in the fourth, advancing to third on a throwing error by the Indians' third baseman, Lonnie Chisenhall. A single in the sixth gave him a 2-4 day with a run scored.
Miguel Cabrera: It had been far too long since Miggy had smashed a baseball, but he hit the stuffings out of one in the first inning. With F/A-18 Super Hornet fighter jets flying overhead, Cabrera destroyed a line drive home run to left. Gosh it feels good to write that again. He also got a two-out single in the third (came around to score), and hit a leadoff single in the seventh. (MLB.com video) Oh, and if that wasn't enough, he homered again in the eighth inning but this time he went the opposite way. (MLB.com video)
Victor Martinez: Thanks to the ineptitude of the Indians' right fielder who imitated Carrera in center field, Martinez was able to bat in the third. He smashed one with the hobbling Cabrera on base for a two-run shot to right that had an estimated distance of 395 feet written all over it. (MLB.com video) He drew walks in the first and the eighth, and hit a double in the seventh.
J.D. Martinez: Hit his own home run the opposite way to go back-to-back and put the Tigers ahead 5-1 in the third inning. Both Martinez's home runs were hit with two outs. (MLB.com video) He also singled in the first, was walked intentionally in the seventh and was hit by a pitch in the eighth.
Ezequiel Carrera: In the first inning, Carrera over-jumped a fly ball that, while not entirely an easy play, is one he should have made. It went down as a hit but he had plenty of time to get to the ball; in fact, the ball actually hit Carrera's glove and likely should have been scored an error. On the bright side, the Indians' right fielder, Mike Aviles, gifted the "hit" right back and more when he failed to make a play that gave Cabrera a two-out hit in the third and back-to-back homers followed.
No communication: This subject is a dead horse, but let's beat it some more because it's still not happening in the outfield. A leadoff single in the fifth was exactly that because Carrera and J.D. Martinez didn't communicate on who should catch the ball and it dropped in between the two outfielders. A line drive single followed in the next at-bat, putting two aboard with no outs for Price to deal with. The Tigers were lucky Price locked down and retired the side via two strikeouts and a flyout, or the inning could have had far worse consequences at the time.
Indians' right fielder Mike Aviles was removed from the game after the third inning due to dizziness and lightheadedness. Zach Walters replaced him in right field and batted seventh in the lineup.
The Tigers are currently tied for first place in the AL Central with the Royals, who are playing the Rangers as this recap is being written.
The Royals are trying to one-up everyone in the division. Again. Feel free to discuss this with one another.
STREAKS AND STATS:
Warning: Miguel Cabrera and the Tigers accomplished a lot today. It was pretty much Miggy Day at Progressive Field. You may want to break out the popcorn or something, it could take a while.
David Price recorded eight strikeouts in his seven innings of solid work, allowing just one run and walking two. Of the 30 batters he faced, 22 began with a strike. He didn't have a single 1-2-3 inning and faced the minimum three batters just once, in the third inning.
Miguel Cabrera hit his 383rd career home run in the first inning, tying him with Larry Walker for 62nd in MLB history and his 245th with the Tigers, tying him with Cecil Fielder for fifth in team history. His home run in the eighth was his 384th career homer, tying him with Harold Baines for 61st in MLB history. Cabrera's seventh inning hit also was his 2,150th hit, tying him with Yogi Berra and Ed Konetchy for 201st on the all-time MLB hit list. Cabrera now has 20 multiple-homer games as a member of the Tigers, tied with Rudy York for sixth most in team history. Cabrera also has his 25th game with four-or-more hits as a member of the Tigers, tied with Harvey Kuenn for fifth most in team history. And finally (two years later when you finished reading all of this) Cabrera has 36 four-hit games in his career, tying him for 57th in MLB history with several players, including Al Kaline.
Cabrera's homer in the first was his 18th home run of the season, his fourth home run since the end of June and only the second since July 21. Cabrera's eighth inning homer was his first multi-homer game this season and the 29th of his career. His last multi-homer game was June 28, 2013 against the Tampa Bay Rays.
Cabrera and Victor Martinez are the only two Tigers players who have driven in 90-or-more runs so far this season.
Cabrera, Victor Martinez and J.D. Martinez were a combined 8-11 with three home runs, seven runs scored, six RBI and three walks. With the exception of Hunter who was hitless, the rest of the Tigers starting lineup finished 7-14 with two RBI, a run scored and a walk.
Cabrera's home run was his first since August 2 against the Rockies. He had gone 27 games and 101 at-bats without a home run, the longest streak of his career by eight games and 37 at-bats.
Victor Martinez's home run in the third was his 28th of the season and his fourth on an 0-2 count for the season. It gave him 14 career home runs on 0-2 pitches and 11 career homers on 2-0 pitches. Martinez's two extra base hits also gave him 55 for the season with only 39 strikeouts.
The Tigers now lead MLB with 645 runs scored for the season. The Oakland Athletics are now second with 644 runs.
In six games at Progressive Field this season, J.D. Martinez is hitting .476 with two doubles, four home runs and 10 RBI.
Coming into Monday's game, Corey Kluber had allowed just 11 home runs all season, and never more than one in a single game. He gave up three in just three innings and lasted just 2 2/3 innings, giving up seven hits, walked two and struck out two. It was the shortest start of the season for Kluber as he was charged with five runs, four, home run style.
J.D. Martinez homered for the first time since August 19. Since August 23 when his average came up above .300 for the season, Martinez is hitting .385/.405/.590 with five doubles and the home run. He was also issued just the second intentional walk of his career in the seventh inning, which loaded the bases.
The back-to-back home runs in the third was the seventh time this season the Tigers have hit back-to-back homers. All of the hits and runs in the third inning were recorded with two outs.
Pinch-hitting in the ninth inning for Hunter, Steven Moya made his major league debut, hitting a single along with Hernan Perez (who pinch-hit for Kinsler) who hit a leadoff single in the inning. With two aboard Tyler Collins blasted a three-run shot to dead center into the bushes for his first major league home run. James McCann also made his MLB debut, catching for Jim Johnson in the ninth inning to close out the win (although he did not get to bat).
The Tigers scored 12 runs against the Indians' pitching staff, who led MLB with a 2.39 ERA in August. The five home runs for the Tigers are the most they've had in a game since they hit five on June 1, 2013 against the Baltimore Orioles.
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