Miggy's monster day fuels Tigers' sweep of Tribe
CLEVELAND -- Miguel Cabrera has tormented the Tribe throughout his career and that did not change during Cleveland's home-opening set against the rival Tigers. Cabrera launched two home runs, collected four hits and powered Detroit to an 8-5 victory over the Indians on Sunday at Progressive Field.
Cabrera's four-hit, four-RBI outpouring capped off an 11-for-14 showing in the three-game sweep of the Tribe, as the Tigers improved to 6-0 on the season. That marks the most hits the Tigers' first baseman has produced in a three-game series in his career. In the process, Cabrera's season average skyrocketed to .520 from .182 over the past three games.
"I feel very good," Cabrera said. "I feel like I'm seeing the ball very good, try to get my pitches and try to put a good swing on the ball."
Carlos Santana delivered an RBI single in the first inning and Ryan Raburn contributed a two-run double in the third, but that was not enough to erase the damage done by Indians starter TJ House (1 1/3 innings). That was all the damage Cleveland managed against Tigers lefty Kyle Lobstein in his five innings of work.
"I actually think this is kind of our time to shine," Indians manager Terry Francona said. "Losing three in a row to these guys hurts, and the way we lost, they beat us around pretty good. But I feel really strongly that this group we have will find a way to pick each other up and we'll come through this."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
House of pain: The Tigers went 6-for-10 with three walks against House in the lefty's first start of the season. Cabrera punctuated a three-run first inning with two-run homer that rocketed out to left field. In a three-run second, J.D. Martinez chased House from the game with a two-run single. It took House 28 pitches to record his first out in the first inning.
"I just didn't think he had a very good feel," Francona said. "TJ's got to throw strikes and throw strikes down and work ahead. Just right from the very beginning, it seemed like it was tough. He was leaving some balls up arm side and falling behind." More >
Cabreraland Rocks: While Cleveland celebrated the opening of Progressive Field's right-field social area this weekend, Cabrera claimed the rest of the ballpark as his own. He homered twice onto the left-field plaza -- a 410-foot drive for a two-run homer in the opening inning, then a 415-foot solo shot in the fourth. Add in a double off the center-field wall and an RBI single, and Cabrera posted his second straight four-hit game to go with four RBIs and three runs scored.
"He does it everywhere," teammate Justin Verlander said. "We just happen to play here a lot. I don't know what it is, man. He's a freak anywhere we go. Nothing surprises me." More >
Yan's gone: In his first start after the loss of catcher Yan Gomes (out six to eight weeks with a right knee sprain), catcher Roberto Perez was put to the test by Detroit. Rajai Davis and Ian Kinsler pulled off a double steal in the first inning and Perez made a throwing error to third on the play, allowing a run to score. Detroit ended with three thefts on the day. In the fifth, Perez did cut down Nick Castellanos, who tried to advance to third on a ball in the dirt. At the plate, Perez contributed a sac fly as part of a two-run eighth inning for the Tribe.
"Perez has a very good arm. He's very capable," Kinsler said. "I think Yan has a little more experience. He's able to control the game a little bit better, but Perez has a great arm. That's something we have to respect." More >
Be-Lobbered start: Lobstein, wearing specs for the first time, had to labor to see his way through five innings in his fill-in start for injured Justin Verlander. Six of the 10 baserunners off the left-hander were left-handed hitters, including Michael Bourn and Brandon Moss twice, as Lobstein struggled to locate his breaking ball. Yet he avoided disaster when he needed an out, stranding seven runners on base and allowing just two hits with runners in scoring position over five innings of three-run ball.
"It was a battle," Lobstein said. "Hard-fought early, but I felt like I settled down. And so getting the win was just kind of icing on the cake."
"I don't know what went through his mind. I don't understand why I would want to hit someone after going to 0-2 and not get him out. It just shocked me. When he came to the mound, he told me that I did it on purpose. I just said, 'OK, well, I don't know why I wasted those two pitches. I might as well have got it out of the way the first time.'"
-- House, on being issued a warning by home-plate umpire Dan Iassogna after hitting Victor Martinez with a pitch in the first inning
"I'll put it into perspective: It's the first week of the season, and I'm not ready to throw any parties."
-- Tigers manager Brad Ausmus, on the Tigers' 6-0 start, their best since 1985. More >
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
• Cabrera leads all active players with 37 career home runs against the Indians. Torii Hunter and Alex Rodriguez rank second with 32 long balls apiece against Cleveland. Cabrera's 23 homers at Progressive Field are the most all time among players (retired or active) with no more than 100 games played at the ballpark.
Prior to Sunday's game, Cleveland purchased the contract of veteran right-hander Shaun Marcum from Triple-A Columbus. When he took the mound in the fifth inning for the Indians, it marked the 33-year-old's first Major League appearance since July 6, 2013. Marcum spent the bulk of the past two seasons coming back from surgery to alleviate thoracic outlet syndrome. He returned with five solid innings, in which the lone hiccup was an eighth-inning leadoff home run to J.D. Martinez.
"It was nice to get back out there," Marcum said, "and not have it be a rehab game in Spring Training or anything like that. The main thing was to go out there and try to get some innings and try to let that bullpen rest." More >
Tigers: The Tigers will take part in their third home opener, this one belonging to Pittsburgh, with a 1:35 p.m. ET matchup against the Pirates on Monday at PNC Park. Anibal Sanchez, who tossed 6 2/3 shutout innings against the Twins last Wednesday in Detroit, has held Pirates hitters to a .204 average for his career, largely from his Marlins days.
Indians: Following an off-day on Monday, the Indians will host the White Sox in another American League Central clash on Tuesday. For the opener of the two-game set, right-hander Carlos Carrasco will take the ball for the Tribe. In his last outing, Carrasco struck out 10 and spun 6 1/3 shutout innings against Houston.
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