DETROIT -- Justin Verlander, buoyed by Miguel Cabrera's powerful finish to a record-setting April, won his third game of the month Tuesday night in Detroit's 6-1 victory over the Minnesota Twins, the Tigers' fifth straight victory.
Verlander (3-2) allowed one run on five hits over seven innings. He walked two but struck out eight, lowering his career April ERA to 1.83. He was a little wobbly in the second inning, when Minnesota scored its only run, but he lasted 114 pitches.
Cabrera set what is believed to be the franchise record for April RBIs (28) and tied another along Torii Hunter for most hits in the month (37). Cabrera hit a two-run, first-inning homer. Hunter went 1-for-4 with an RBI groundout.
Drew Smyly pitched a scoreless eighth inning for Detroit, but Al Alburquerque had to be rescued by Joaquin Benoit in the ninth.
Benoit entered with runners on first and third with one out and struck out pinch hitter Ryan Doumit on a nasty 1-2 changeup, then got Eduardo Escobar to ground out to second.
Omar Infante beat out an infield single to short to begin Detroit's three-run fifth, which made it 6-1.
Austin Jackson dumped a run-and-hit single into left center that moved Infante to third and he scored on a groundout to short by Hunter. Cabrera forced Jackson at third, but Prince Fielder boomed his seventh home run into the right field seats.
Alex Avila hit his third home run of the season with one out in the second to give the Tigers a 3-1 lead.
Cabrera got Detroit out on top 2-0 in the first inning with his fourth home run. It was another long, opposite-field homer for Cabrera, as he took an outside changeup over the right field fence.
Cabrera's 28 RBIs for April were one more than Tony Clark's total for Detroit in April 1997. It is at least the most since 1921, the earliest year for which accurate records are known.
Minnesota bounced back with a run off Verlander in the second to narrow the lead to 2-1. Justin Morneau walked and Chris Parmelee singled through short. Verlander got the next two outs, but one-time Tiger Wilkin Ramirez doubled to left-center to drive in Morneau.
NOTES: Placido Polanco had 37 hits for the Tigers in April 2007. ... Avila has three RBIs this season -- and three home runs. ... Verlander struck Aaron Hicks out three times in the first game of the season, so Twins manager Ron Gardenhire decided Tuesday would be a good night to give his rookie center fielder a night off. ... Tigers reliever Octavio Dotel, on the disabled list with right elbow inflammation, threw lightly Tuesday for the first time since being disabled. "It feels good," he said. "We'll see how it feels Wednesday and Thursday." ... Eduardo Escobar replaced Brian Dozier at second base and leadoff in Gardenhire's lineup against Verlander. Escobar hit a walk-off RBI double to beat Detroit on April 3. ... Joe Mauer snapped a career-longest 21-at-bat hitless streak with a sharp line single to right with one out in the third inning. It wasn't a surprise, since Mauer entered the game with a career .373 batting average against Verlander -- the second best of any hitter off the right-hander (to KC's Billy Butler's .418).