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Miggy's homer, 5 RBIs propel Tigers past O's

MLB.com @beckjason

BALTIMORE -- Miguel Cabrera has fallen a triple shy of the cycle 34 times in his career. It will likely be one of the few feats he won't achieve in a career that includes a Triple Crown, two MVP awards and four batting titles, and should eventually include 3,000 hits and 500 home runs.

He's OK with that. Cabrera was aware of it Saturday as the Tigers pulled ahead and held on for a 9-5 win over the Orioles, but the way the Tigers had been struggling to plate runs in back-to-back shutouts, he was more concerned about them circling the bases than about his chance of cycling.

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BALTIMORE -- Miguel Cabrera has fallen a triple shy of the cycle 34 times in his career. It will likely be one of the few feats he won't achieve in a career that includes a Triple Crown, two MVP awards and four batting titles, and should eventually include 3,000 hits and 500 home runs.

He's OK with that. Cabrera was aware of it Saturday as the Tigers pulled ahead and held on for a 9-5 win over the Orioles, but the way the Tigers had been struggling to plate runs in back-to-back shutouts, he was more concerned about them circling the bases than about his chance of cycling.

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"I don't have the speed to do that," Cabrera said. "I didn't do that when I was younger. Now I'm 35."

Cabrera hasn't tripled since May 17, 2016. He hasn't tripled away from spacious Comerica Park since Aug. 1, 2008, his first season as a Tiger. Oriole Park at Camden Yards might have been his least likely place for it, but considering Dmitri Young once tripled twice here in the same game as a Tiger in 2003, it's not impossible.

As his sinking liner bounced past left fielder Craig Gentry and rolled toward the warning track, plating his fourth and fifth RBIs of the night in the fourth inning, Cabrera admitted he was thinking three. But while his legs are healthier this year, they're still older, so he settled for two bases as the Tigers stretched their lead to 7-0. The way the Orioles rallied later, the Tigers needed all of those runs and a little more insurance to end their three-game losing streak.

"Cabby came up and got some big hits for us," manager Ron Gardenhire said. "He had a heck of a night tonight. We needed that."

Cabrera's first-inning single didn't drive in a run, but it moved Jeimer Candelario from first to third base after Leonys Martin's slide broke up a double play to keep Candelario on base. Once Nicholas Castellanos drove him in, the Tigers' scoreless streak ended at 22 innings, stretching back to Martin's fifth-inning homer Wednesday night.

Video: DET@BAL: Castellanos smacks RBI single to left

"Huge," Cabrera said of the early offense. "Two nights, we didn't score runs. We had a big opportunity to score."

Detroit's offense was just getting started. So was Cabrera, who came up in the second inning with two on and two out and produced his more traditional Camden Yards hit, an opposite-field loft down the right-field line and over the out-of-town scoreboard. His third home run of the season was also the 465th of his career, tying him with Dave Winfield for 34th on the Major League all-time list.

A Danny Valencia throwing error and a Candelario walk set up Cabrera's two-run double in the fourth. James McCann singled home JaCoby Jones off Pedro Araujo in the seventh. 

"Keep plugging away," Gardenhire said. "It's what we did tonight."

Video: DET@BAL: Cabrera picks up 5th RBI on 2-run double

The extra run support became vital once the Orioles' offense awakened against starter Francisco Liriano (4-1) and the Tigers' bullpen. Victor Martinez's second home run of the season, a line drive over the right-field wall in the ninth, restored some cushion for Shane Greene in the ninth. 

Video: DET@BAL: Martinez cranks solo home run to right

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Jimenez ends the threat: Orioles rallies off the Tigers' bullpen have been a recurring theme since their 2014 American League Division Series sweep, and the O's seemed poised for another one in the seventh. But for the second time in less than two weeks, Gardenhire called on Joe Jimenez with two outs in the seventh to protect a lead against the middle of the Orioles' lineup. With the bases loaded, Jimenez battled Manny Machado, who fouled off two difficult two-strike pitches before sending a two-run single through the middle. But Jimenez retired Adam Jones as the potential tying run, then retired the O's in order in the eighth.

"It wasn't the way we planned it," Gardenhire said. "It's just the way it worked out. We didn't want it to get to that part of the lineup, but it did, so we brought in our best setup guy and he pitched through it."

SOUND SMART
Cabrera's home run was his 11th in 34 career games at Camden Yards. It's his highest total at a visiting ballpark where he was never a division rival, one more than his total at Yankee Stadium.

"I like hitting in Detroit, too, but here you don't worry about pulling the ball too much," Cabrera said, "because with one big fly ball, you can go out anywhere in this stadium."

UP NEXT
Three years after Daniel Norris made his Tigers debut at Camden Yards, the left-hander will make his first start in Baltimore since then, when he faces the O's in Sunday's series finale. He'll be opposed by Baltimore righty Kevin Gausman. First pitch is at 1:05 p.m. ET.

Jason Beck has covered the Tigers for MLB.com since 2002. Read Beck's Blog, follow him on Twitter @beckjason and Facebook.

Detroit Tigers, Francisco Liriano