DETROIT -- One night after the Tigers put up an eight-run opening inning and had to rally late, Miguel Cabrera's first triple in 365 days sparked a seven-run seventh inning to lift Detroit to its third straight victory with a 7-2 win over the Twins on Tuesday night at Comerica
DETROIT -- One night after the Tigers put up an eight-run opening inning and had to rally late, Miguel Cabrera's first triple in 365 days sparked a seven-run seventh inning to lift Detroit to its third straight victory with a 7-2 win over the Twins on Tuesday night at Comerica Park.
Phil Hughes, who outpitched former Twins teammate Mike Pelfrey in an unlikely pitching duel, exited with a 2-1 lead after Cabrera tripled and scored on a Victor Martinez sacrifice fly. The Tigers pounced on Minnesota's bullpen for seven hits in the next eight batters, including back-to-back home runs from Ian Kinsler and J.D. Martinez.
"That inning was the whole game," said Nick Castellanos, whose bloop single off reliever Michael Tonkin continued the rally.
Joe Mauer and Miguel Sano hit solo home runs off Pelfrey, who delivered 5 1/3 innings of two-run ball for the second consecutive start. Jose Iglesias pulled the Tigers ahead for good with a two-run single off Trevor May's first pitch.
"It's just not getting the ball where you want to get the ball," said Twins manager Paul Molitor, "and these guys do damage in a hurry."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Upton erupts:Justin Upton entered Tuesday in a 5-for-41, 22-strikeout slump over his previous 11 games, and was robbed on a highlight catch from Danny Santana in the fifth. Upton's drive to deep left-center would've earned him the game-tying RBI had it not bounced over the wall for a ground-rule double. Still, it put runners at second and third for Cameron Maybin's game-tying single and Iglesias' go-ahead hit.
"He's looked a lot better the last week, I think," bench coach Gene Lamont said of Upton. "He's been very frustrated. I think you come into a big contract like he got and you put extra pressure on yourself. He's a proud guy. He's worked like a dog to get it back."
Dis-May: May entered Tuesday with a 3.48 ERA, having given up two home runs all season. In the seventh inning, he faced four batters, yielding two homers and two singles without recording an out. He was charged with three earned runs. More >
"It turns out every pitch I threw was right into a barrel," May said. "It's frustrating as [heck], especially with how this road trip's been for us and me. We've had good opportunities to turn things around. I've been put into situations I was last year, and I got the job done then. I know I can get the job done. Coming in and not only letting your starter down, but your bullpen guy needs you to pick up one out, and for whatever reason, you simply can't get anybody out. There's not a more frustrating feeling in the world."
Ryan escapes jam in seventh: While Detroit's offensive outburst came too late to earn Pelfrey his first win as a Tiger, Kyle Ryan prevented Pelfrey from a far worse pitching line. He replaced Pelfrey with two on and one out in the sixth before escaping with the unorthodox 4-3-6 double play. Ryan went on to pitch a perfect seventh to earn the victory.
"Kyle did a great job for us," Lamont said. "He's the guy that really stopped them."
Sano goes deep again: Miguel Sano hit his second home run in as many days, doubling the Twins' lead to 2-0 in the sixth inning with a leadoff shot. Sano now has four home runs in the past six games and seven for the season.
Major League Baseball levied its discipline to manager Brad Ausmus about an hour before first pitch, suspending him for one game with an undisclosed fine for his tirade on home-plate umpire Doug Eddings on Monday night. Lamont stepped in and led the Tigers to a victory. More >
"I managed quite a few games. It's been quite a while," said Lamont, who managed the White Sox and Pirates for eight seasons from 1992 to 2000. "Brad came out and told me at 5:30 or so that I was going to manage. I was a little nervous before the game, I'm not gonna lie."
Twins: Right-hander Ricky Nolasco (1-1, 4.87 ERA) takes the mound for Wednesday's series finale at 12:10 p.m. CT. He allowed five runs over 5 2/3 innings against the Tigers on May 1.
Tigers: Right-hander Justin Verlander (2-4, 4.71) takes the mound for Wednesday's series finale at 1:10 p.m. ET looking to complete the three-game series sweep and earn his first victory since April 27. He logged 15 innings of one-run ball over his previous two starts.
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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.
Chris Vannini is a contributor to MLB.com and covered the Twins on Tuesday.