The Canadian Press - ONLINE EDITION

Cabrera hits 3-run homer, sends Scherzer and Tigers past Twins 9-3

  • Print

DETROIT - Miguel Cabrera, Victor Martinez and Max Scherzer will all happily give Jim Leyland credit for improving their careers.

Saturday, they got a chance to pay him back.

On the day the Tigers honoured their former manager in a pregame ceremony, Cabrera and Martinez both hit three-run homers and Scherzer threw well enough to lead the Tigers over the Minnesota Twins 9-3.

"We had a lot of great memories with Jim, so we wanted to give him one more," Cabrera said. "We wanted that for him, because of everything he did for us."

Cabrera connected for his fifth homer, tagging Kyle Gibson (3-3), while Martinez hit his eighth of the season and fourth in the last six games.

"It was great to see Jim today, because he's still a big part of our family," Martinez said. "You see him today, running around and hugging people, and you forget how old he is, because he doesn't have the attitude of an old man. He still seems young, and we all loved seeing him, because he has done so much for all of us."

Scherzer (5-1) wasn't sharp yet still won, giving up three runs on five hits and four walks in six innings. He struck out six — his team-record streak of fanning at least seven in seven starts to begin a season ended.

"I couldn't find my release point today, but I was able to get through it," he said. "I gave up one big shot, but the rest of the time, I was able to make enough pitches to get the outs I needed and get out of any jams.

"And Leyland must have been proud. He always managed for Miggy and Victor to hit three-run homers for him," he said.

After the 69-year-old Leyland threw out the first pitch, another of his favourite players made an immediate impact.

Don Kelly, a utilityman who owes his major league career to Leyland's patience and trust, reached over the left-field fence in the first inning to steal a homer from Kurt Suzuki.

Kelly then scored the game's first run as the Tigers took a 2-0 lead in the second on RBI singles by Alex Avila and Andrew Romine. Detroit added another run when second baseman Brian Dozier dropped shortstop Danny Santana's flip, then threw wildly to the plate as Avila scored.

"Danny should have just thrown to first there, but he got himself into trouble by trying to get the out at second," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "You can't make those kind of mistakes against that team."

The error had major consequences, as Cabrera followed with his homer for a 6-0 lead.

"That was a huge mistake by the Twins, and we all knew it as soon as we saw the error," Scherzer said. "If you let us extend an inning and get Miggy to the plate, he's going to make you pay for it. That's exactly what he did."

The Twins closed the deficit on Dozier's long, three-run shot in the third, but weren't able to do anything else against Scherzer.

Anthony Swarzak relieved Gibson and pitched four shutout innings, but the damage had already been done.

"I just got behind too many guys, and then you have to come in over the plate," Gibson said. "You can't do that against a team like Detroit. They are a pretty good team when you have to throw the ball down the middle."

Martinez broke open the game with a three-run homer off Michael Tonkin in the seventh. Martinez, who is hitting .328 at the age of 35, is on pace to easily surpass his career high of 25.

"I knew Victor was a great hitter before I got here, but he has continued to surprise me all season," said Leyland's successor as manager, Brad Ausmus. "I keep saying it — I've never seen a hitter like him."

Tigers reliever Phil Coke got into the game in his latest role as the mop-up man. He allowed a leadoff single, drawing boos from the crowd, but Cabrera helped him out with a 3-6-3 double play that led to a shutout inning.

"We need to get Phil going in games like this so that we can work him in to tougher situations," Ausmus said. "Miggy helped him out today, and hopefully, this will get the ball rolling."

NOTES: The Tigers honoured Leyland and had him throw out the first pitch to longtime friend and Tigers bench coach Gene Lamont. Leyland, the only manager to lead Detroit to four post-season appearances, was also presented with a framed painting by team president Dave Dombrowski, Justin Verlander and Cabrera. "It was a great run for eight years," Leyland said before the game. "I only wish we could have brought a World Series trophy to this city." ... A fan behind the Twins dugout got an ovation after catching a foul ball with his left hand while cradling his daughter in his right arm. ... Scherzer's eight games with at least six strikeouts is the second-longest streak to start a season in franchise history, trailing his own 19-game run last year.

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

Keri Latimer looks for beauty in the dark and the spaces between the notes

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • JOE BRYKSA/WINNIPEG FREE PRESS Local-(Standup photo)- A wood duck swims through the water with fall refections in Kildonan Park Thursday afternoon.
  • A young goose   reaches for long strands of grass Friday night near McGillvary Blvd-See Bryksa 30 Day goose challenge- Day 19 - May 23, 2012   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

Who are the real Bombers?

View Results

Ads by Google