"I won't say it's the best lineup thus far, but I would say the most dangerous," Mackanin said early on Tuesday. "Just look at the numbers, and it can be daunting."
Mackanin was happy with limiting the Tigers' offense to three runs.
"Last night and tonight, we were in both games, so I'm happy about that," he said. "Not happy about the outcome, but we played them tough, especially with their lineup."
Hellickson, who walked one batter on the night, thought the same as his manager.
"It's a good lineup, with power, speed, a lot of good averages," he said. "All you can do is try and make pitches, and keep the ball on the ground."
Hellickson responded to Cabrera's deep liner in the first inning by striking him out in the third inning, warranting a thumbs up and a helmet bounce from Cabrera. But the Tigers' slugger came back in the sixth with a chopper to third base that was mishandled by Maikel Franco.
"Like I said, I made that mistake in the first inning, leaving it right over the middle of the plate," Hellickson said, "and second and third, no outs with him up again, in a 1-0 game, just trying to keep [the baserunners] both out there, but that's tough with him at bat."
Kyle Beery is a reporter for MLB.com based in Detroit.