Tigers power past Twins
DETROIT — Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder each hit a two-run homer, Justin Verlander pitched seven strong innings and the Detroit Tigers beat the Minnesota Twins 6-1 Tuesday night for their fifth straight victory.
Verlander (3-2) allowed a run and five hits. He struck out eight and walked two.
Vance Worley (0-4) gave up six runs and 10 hits in 4 2-3 innings. Worley was acquired by the Twins in an offseason trade with Philadelphia and started Minnesota’s season opener, but the right-hander has a 7.22 ERA.
Cabrera opened the scoring with his fourth homer of the year, and Fielder’s seventh was part of a three-run fifth. Alex Avila also went deep for Detroit.
Tigers pitchers struck out 10 — reaching that mark for the fifth straight game. That equals the longest streak by an American League team since at least 1921. The major league record since then is eight games by the Milwaukee Brewers last August, according to STATS.
Cabrera’s second opposite-field homer in three nights put Detroit ahead 2-0.
Wilkin Ramirez hit an RBI double for Minnesota in the second, but Avila answered in the bottom half. The Detroit catcher entered the game hitting .176, but sliced a drive over the fence in left-center to make it 3-1.
Worley appeared to be in decent shape until the fifth, when Torii Hunter hit an RBI groundout to make it 4-1. Fielder followed one out later with a line drive that cleared the wall in right in a hurry.
Verlander left his previous start against Kansas City after seven innings with a blister on his pitching thumb, but the injury wasn’t expected to be too serious. He didn’t seem bothered Tuesday, throwing 114 pitches.
Drew Smyly took over in the eighth and struck out one hitter. Al Alburquerque came on in the ninth but walked two, prompting manager Jim Leyland to bring in Joaquin Benoit for the final two outs in what was still a non-save situation. Benoit fanned pinch-hitter Ryan Doumit for the second out of the ninth and Detroit’s 10th strikeout of the game.
Notes: Minnesota star Joe Mauer snapped an 0-for-21 skid with a third-inning single. ... Arkansas Gov. Mike Beebe, a big Tigers fan, threw out the ceremonial first pitch. He spent some time before the game commiserating with Hunter and Smyly, who are both from Arkansas. ... The Tigers try for a three-game sweep Wednesday. Detroit’s Anibal Sanchez (3-1) takes the mound against Scott Diamond (1-2).