Tigers ride 4-run 1st, trio of HRs over Marlins

June 29th, 2016

DETROIT -- Miguel Cabrera haunted his old squad once again with his second home run in as many days, complementing a four-run first inning as the Tigers posted a 10-3 win over the Marlins on Wednesday afternoon at Comerica Park.

Steven Moya and Jarrod Saltalamacchia added back-to-back solo homers in the fifth to earn Detroit a sweep of the four-game season series. The Tigers took two games at Marlins Park to open the season, then two in Detroit to close out a 6-3 homestand. The Marlins, who came to town having taken three of four from the Cubs and nine of their past 14 overall, lost consecutive games against the same opponent for the first time since June 11-12 at Arizona.

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The Tigers put up four hits and three runs before Miami starter Tom Koehler (6-7) struck out Moya for his first out of the afternoon. Koehler left after three innings and 90 pitches, having surrendered five runs on eight hits, before Cabrera, Moya and Saltalamacchia homered off Dustin McGowan.

"I don't think he was really commanding his offspeed pitches the way he wanted to," Tigers second baseman Ian Kinsler said of Koehler. "I thought he actually threw the ball OK. We worked a couple walks out of him in the first there. And honestly, the first inning was our big inning. After that, he kind of settled down a little bit. We got to him early, and it was a good first inning for us."

Adeiny Hechavarria's second-inning RBI triple had the makings of a Marlins rally, but Tigers starter Daniel Norris (1-0) overcame a high pitch count to last five innings with a career-high eight strikeouts.

"You get behind the eight ball early," Marlins manager Don Mattingly said. "A lot of pitches for Tom. The four runs [in the first], but it's really after that that hurt us because we come back and get two. At that point we're back in the game. We give one right back [in the second], and it just seemed we didn't do anything from that point forward. We got some hits, but the at-bats got sloppy. We were unable to stop them."


Cabrera crushes again: The Marlins were the last Major League team to give up a Cabrera homer, but he made up for lost time with two in less than 24 hours. His drive Wednesday off McGowan's 95-mph fastball hit off the brick wall behind the left-field seats, an estimated 459-foot drive, according to Statcast™. It was career homer No. 426 for Miggy, tying him with Billy Williams on the all-time list.

Norris finds big outs with K's: The Marlins sapped 76 pitches out of Norris through three innings, and 100 pitches over five, but never got the big hit they needed. Norris' big escape wasn't a groundout -- he didn't record any until the fourth -- but the strikeout. He stranded two runners in the first with back-to-back called third strikes on Marcell Ozuna and Giancarlo Stanton, then fanned Christian Yelich with two on in the second. Eight of Norris' first 10 outs came by strikeout, five of them called third strikes.

"Early on, I was just trying to throw get-me-over fastballs, which were missing," Norris said. "Later on, I was really letting the ball go, challenging the guys." More >

Ichiro's quest for 3,000: The Marlins had some things to cheer about at the plate, like Martin Prado's four singles. But looking at the bigger picture, Ichiro Suzuki had two singles and now sits at 2,988 hits, just 12 shy of becoming the 30th player in MLB history to reach 3,000. In the second inning, the 42-year-old delivered an RBI single, which at the time trimmed the Miami deficit to 4-2. And in the eighth inning, Ichiro had a single to center off lefty Kyle Ryan. Next on the all-time list is Roberto Clemente (3,000).

Ichiro now has 16 multihit games on the season.

Koehler's first-inning woes: For the second straight start, Koehler has been roughed up in the first inning. In both starts, the right-hander has allowed four runs in the first frame. The Tigers sent nine to the plate on Wednesday in a 46-pitch inning. The first six batters reached, and Koehler's first out came on his 33rd pitch. In his previous start, on June 24 in a no-decision against the Cubs, he also gave up four in the first inning. Koehler's ERA in the first has now risen to 7.31 in 16 starts. And eight of his 13 earned runs allowed in the inning have come in his last two starts.

"I don't know if I ever did get settled, unfortunately," Koehler said. "They're a quality lineup, and they found some holes early that really made me work and got my pitch count up. When you throw [46] pitches in the first, it's tough to get deep into games." More >


"I'm disappointed. [Tuesday] night we had chances all over the place and don't get it done early, and then they jump us and we're kind of done. We don't really get it done. Today, we get behind early, but we get right back in it and just don't do anything after that. A little disappointing. But there is no time for that. We have to go play. That's basically how we have to look at it, get moving. If there are changes that need to be made, we make changes in certain areas, and that's all there is to it." -- Mattingly, on tough two days in Detroit

"We haven't played our best against Cleveland. That's one team. We still have a lot of games to play. We've been playing really good baseball lately, and outside that, it was an excellent homestand. A 6-3 homestand you'll take every time. Obviously, we want to play well against Cleveland, but it's not that simple." -- Kinsler, on Tigers' homestand


Koehler is the second Major League pitcher this season to throw 90 or more pitches in three innings or fewer. The other, Pittsburgh's Juan Nicasio, also did so against the Tigers, tossing 94 pitches over three innings on April 12.


Marlins: The Marlins open a four-game series with the Braves on Thursday at 7:10 p.m. ET at Turner Field. Lefty Wei-Yin Chen (4-2, 5.00 ERA) gets the ball for Miami.

Tigers: Detroit hits the road for an 11-game, three-city road trip to close out the season's first half, beginning Thursday with a 7:10 p.m. ET matchup against the Rays at Tropicana Field. Jordan Zimmermann (9-4, 3.81 ERA) takes the mound for the Tigers opposite Jake Odorizzi.

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