NEW YORK -- Miguel Cabrera's three-run homer capped a four-run second inning by the Detroit Tigers on Friday night and Doug Fister worked out of trouble throughout 6 1/3 innings as the Tigers beat the New York Mets 6-1 in front of 37,023 at Citi Field.
The Tigers (75-53) extended their AL Central lead to six games over the Indians, while the Mets (58-68) lost their second straight.
Cabrera, the reigning American League MVP and Triple Crown winner, finished 2-for-4 as he lengthened his league-leading numbers in batting average and RBIs. He is hitting .356, well ahead of the Angels' Mike Trout, who began Friday hitting .333.
Cabrera now has 125 RBIs. The Orioles' Chris Davis began the day with 116 RBIs. Cabrera's 41st homer of the season pulled him within five of Davis, who entered Friday with a major league-best 46 round-trippers.
Torii Hunter finished 2-for-5 with a solo homer in the first and an RBI double in the second on the pitch before Cabrera's blast. Austin Jackson scored two runs and hit a solo homer in the seventh for the Tigers' final run while Omar Infante had a pair of singles.
Fister (11-6) allowed one run on eight hits and two walks while striking out four in winning for the first time since Aug. 2. Fister had just one 1-2-3 inning (the third) but stranded five runners in scoring position in the first six innings. He benefited from an inning-ending 5-4-3 double play with runners at the corners in the sixth and watched as Drew Smyly stranded a pair of runners upon relieving him in the seventh.
Marlon Byrd was 2-for-4 with an RBI single for the Mets, while Eric Young Jr. had three hits and a stolen base. Wilmer Flores added three singles.
Daisuke Matsuzaka, who signed with the Mets on Thursday, took the loss in his 2013 major league debut. Matsuzaka, who made 19 starts for the Indians' Triple-A affiliate before he asked for and received his release on Tuesday, allowed five runs on six hits and one walk while striking out four over five innings.
All of the Tigers' damage against Matsuzaka came in the first two innings. He retired the final 10 batters he faced.
The Tigers went ahead 1-0 on Hunter's long solo homer to left in the first inning before the Mets tied it in bizarre fashion in the bottom of the inning. Young delivered a leadoff single and stole second before he was caught in a rundown on Daniel Murphy's comebacker to Fister.
Young was eventually tagged out by Cabrera, but not before Murphy made it to second. Byrd followed with a single to left, and Murphy slid in safely at home just ahead of the tag by Martinez.
The Tigers produced four runs in a three-pitch span in the second. With two outs and Jose Iglesias on first, Austin Jackson drew a four-pitch walk. Two pitches later, Hunter's ground-rule double scored Iglesias. On Matsuzaka's next pitch, Cabrera clobbered a three-run homer deep into the seats just to the right of the left-field foul pole to put the Tigers up 5-1.
NOTES: To make room for Matsuzaka on the 25-man roster, the Mets optioned RHP Greg Burke to Triple-A Las Vegas. ... Mets 3B David Wright, who has been on the disabled list since Aug. 3 with a strained right hamstring, took grounders prior to batting practice on Friday and is also running in a pool. ... Tigers C Alex Avila, who is on the 7-day concussion disabled list, played just three innings for Triple-A Toledo on Thursday before he exited with a headache. Jim Leyland said Avila could return to Toledo's lineup as the designated hitter on Saturday. ... Victor Martinez made his first start at catcher since Aug. 4, 2011. He missed all of 2012 with a knee injury.