DETROIT -- On a night when the Tigers and Phillies combined for six solo home runs, two of them from Miguel Cabrera, Detroit pulled ahead on a Victor Martinez seventh-inning single that scored Cabrera for a 5-4 victory Monday at Comerica Park.The Tigers' seventh win in eight games moved them
DETROIT -- On a night when the Tigers and Phillies combined for six solo home runs, two of them from Miguel Cabrera, Detroit pulled ahead on a Victor Martinez seventh-inning single that scored Cabrera for a 5-4 victory Monday at Comerica Park.
The Tigers' seventh win in eight games moved them back to .500 (22-22) for the first time since May 6.
• Miggy on prolific tear -- even by his standards
Cabrera's second two-homer game in four days included an opposite-field loft in the third inning and a drive to left in the fifth, both of which tied the game. Both came off Phillies starter Vince Velasquez, who gave up as many home runs in four-plus innings (three) as he had all season entering the night.
"He's a great pitcher," said J.D. Martinez, who went back-to-back with Cabrera in the fifth. "I think it was, in a way, bad timing for him, because he came in here, we're hitting, and we just faced [the Rays' Chris] Archer and [Matt] Andriese. We've faced a lot of similar pitchers to him. So I think it was just a rough time for him to come in here."
Velasquez said he did not do a good job of using his secondary pitches, which allowed Tigers hitters to take him deep. He also said he needed to challenge hitters inside more effectively.
"You can't pitch around it, even if your secondary pitches aren't working," Velasquez said. "You can use it to protect your fastball, but you've got to pitch inside to challenge hitters."
Cabrera's double to right-center off Colton Murray (0-1) in the seventh stayed in the park, but put him in scoring position for Martinez, who lined a single into right field.
Maikel Franco and Tommy Joseph homered for Philadelphia, the latter to tie the game at 4.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Martinez, Cabrera go back-to-back: The Phillies had built a 3-1 lead in the fifth inning and kept the Tigers' offense stymied with six runners stranded through four when Detroit slugged its way back with solo homers. J.D. Martinez sent a Velasquez fastball into the right-field seats for his fifth home run in eight games before Cabrera pulled a curveball deep to left, tying the game.
Franco powers Phillies: Franco hadn't homered in his previous 11 games, but his homer to lead off the fourth off Tigers starter Mike Pelfrey was a no-doubter to left-center, giving him eight home runs on the season. Franco also singled in the first inning.
Victor puts Tigers up for good: The way Martinez has been hitting, Cabrera's double in the seventh might have set up an intentional walk under a lot of circumstances. The way Nick Castellanos has hit all season, including a home run and a double Monday night, the Phillies had Murray pitch to Martinez, who found open space in right field with no shift and put a line drive there to move Detroit on top for good.
Herrera serves as leadoff pest:Odubel Herrera led off the game with a 14-pitch at-bat against Mike Pelfrey, including nine foul balls, before lacing a ground ball through the middle for a single. A double play erased Herrera two pitches later, but the hit set the tone on a night when Herrera had three hits off Pelfrey, including an RBI single in the third inning and a liner to center in the fifth.
Despite the big night at the plate, Herrera was benched after he failed to run out a ground ball back to the pitcher in the seventh inning.
"He didn't run," Phillies manager Pete Mackanin said. "One of the ingredients to our success, to this point, is the fact that these guys play with energy, they play hard. We're training them, basically, to play the game the right way, and not running is not the right way." More >
"No disrespect to anybody out there ... there's no better hitter than Miggy." -- Victor Martinez, on Cabrera
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Cabrera's double was the 500th of his career, making him the 62nd Major League player to reach the mark. Monday was also his 20th career game going 3-for-3 or better with a home run. Only Barry Bonds (23) and Lou Gehrig (21) have more such games in Major League history.
The Phillies challenged an inning-ending double play in the eighth, arguing Freddy Galvis beat shortstop Jose Iglesias' throw to first. After further review, Galvis' foot hit the bag ahead of Cabrera getting the ball at first. The call was overturned, extending the inning, but Mark Lowe struck out Tyler Goeddel to end the threat.
Phillies:Jeremy Hellickson (4-2, 3.99 ERA) looks for his third straight win when he takes the mound Tuesday night at Comerica Park in a 7:10 p.m. ET start. The former Tampa Bay Rays hurler owns a 1.86 ERA in five career starts against Detroit.
Tigers:Justin Verlander (3-4, 4.58) takes the mound in the middle game of the series, looking to extend his May string of deep quality starts. Verlander has allowed four runs on 13 hits over 22 1/3 innings in his last three starts, striking out 27 batters.
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Jason Beck has covered the Tigers for MLB.com since 2002. Read Beck's Blog, follow him on Twitter @beckjason and listen to his podcast.
Kyle Beery is a reporter for MLB.com based in Detroit.