DETROIT -- Miguel Cabrera had a message for Tigers fans after Wednesday night's 9-6 win over the Twins.
"Detroit, stay positive," Cabrera said after hitting a go-ahead homer to help his club bounce back from Tuesday's loss and move to one game back of Toronto for an American League Wild Card spot. The Tigers are still six games behind the first-place Indians in the AL Central race.
Cabrera hit a seventh-inning home run off Ryan Pressly that skipped off the top of the fence in left-center for his 33rd of the season. According to Statcast™, it had a projected distance of 416 feet with an exit velocity of 107.7 mph.
Cabrera's home run served as a reminder that the Tigers are right in the thick of the postseason hunt as they improved to 12-3 against the Twins in the season series.
Cabrera, who is batting .326 in 12 September games with an OPS of 1.056, said things are becoming fun with the team fighting for a postseason appearance. He also said they have to tune out any negativity.
"It doesn't matter what people say -- 'We're not going to make it. We're not going to do this or that.' -- We hear a lot of bad things, but we always have to stay positive," Cabrera said. "A lot of people say negative things, but we have to stay positive."
Cabrera said it is important for the Tigers to learn to block those things out, especially in a tight pennant race.
"I've been here a lot of years, I've been through it," Cabrera said. "But we've got a lot of new guys here. Don't worry about that stuff. They think about it and read stuff. But we need to stay positive and go out there and play."
While Cabrera has done his fair share of damage in the month, so has second baseman Ian Kinsler, who is batting .375 with an OPS of .995 after his 4-for-5 game on Wednesday. The two have anchored the offense in this playoff push. Manager Brad Ausmus attributed that veteran presence as one of the reasons Kinsler has been one of the team's most valuable assets.
"It's not just because of his hitting," Ausmus said. "It's because of his defense, his gamesmanship. It's more than just the stats."
Following Thursday's finale against Minnesota, Detroit heads to Cleveland for a critical three-game weekend series. Cabrera said, as with every game, the team needs to worry about what it can control.
"I always believe, for you to win games, you don't have to worry about the other team," Cabrera said. "We've got to worry about what we can do. We can't play with extra pressure because you don't want to lose your focus. Now if they lose, it's good."