Cabrera, Tigers flex muscles in comeback win over Marlins

DETROIT (AP) — With two on and two out in the third inning, Miguel Cabrera struck out swinging at a pitch that was low and inside, and the slugger was so off balance he ended up on one knee.

He made up for that missed opportunity his next time up.

Cabrera’s three-run homer highlighted Detroit’s seven-run fifth inning, and the Tigers beat the Miami Marlins 7-5 on Tuesday night. Jose Iglesias and Nick Castellanos also homered during Detroit’s big inning, which came after Adam Conley had been dominant through four.

Cabrera’s 17th homer came on a full-count pitch after he struck out twice earlier in the game.

"He kind of went into battle mode with two strikes," Detroit manager Brad Ausmus said. "And then (Conley) left an off-speed pitch up in the zone, and Miggy can hit those as far as anyone."

Mike Pelfrey (2-7) allowed four runs and 12 hits in 5 1/3 innings, and that performance was enough for the win.

Giancarlo Stanton hit a two-run homer for Miami.

Conley (4-5) struck out six in the first two innings. He caught Cabrera looking in the first and swinging in the third, but when the Detroit slugger came up a third time, he hit a drive well beyond the fence in left-center field to give the Tigers a 5-3 lead.

"Cabrera was a changeup that I didn’t feel committed to throwing," Conley said. "We went hard at him in the first at-bat, and that let me get him to chase a slider in the second at-bat, so that’s a smart pitch. There wasn’t really any rhyme or reason to throwing the changeup, and he was sitting on something soft."

Four relievers finished the game for Detroit after Pelfrey’s departure. Francisco Rodriguez pitched a hitless ninth for his 21st save in 23 chances.

The Tigers were in a bit of a funk after being swept in a three-game series by AL Central-leading Cleveland. Detroit made three errors in the first five innings Tuesday.

Stanton opened the scoring in the second with his 15th homer of the season, but the Marlins couldn’t break the game open when they had the chance.

Miami led 3-0 in the fifth when Iglesias connected for a two-run shot. After Cabrera went deep, Conley was taken out, and Nick Wittgren allowed a two-run drive by Castellanos.

Conley was coming off a sparkling outing against Atlanta in which he threw eight scoreless innings. He looked terrific against the Tigers before his night unraveled in the fifth. The left-hander ended up allowing five runs and five hits in 4 1/3 innings. He walked three and struck out nine.

NUMBER 30

Cabrera has now homered against all 30 major league teams, and it was fitting that he completed that feat against the Marlins, the team he made his debut for.

"We got the lead that inning with a home run, and it was more special because of that — and we win the game," Cabrera said.

TRANSACTIONS

Miami purchased the contract of left-hander Jo-Jo Reyes from Triple-A New Orleans, and right-hander Paul Clemens was claimed off waivers by San Diego. Clemens went 1-0 with a 6.30 ERA for the Marlins.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Marlins: OF Marcell Ozuna (left wrist) returned after missing two games. He singled twice and scored on Stanton’s homer.

Tigers: RHP Warwick Saupold (right groin strain) made an injury rehab start with Triple-A Toledo on Monday night, allowing a run and four hits in 2 2/3 innings. He struck out five.

UP NEXT

Marlins: RHP Tom Koehler (6-6) starts Wednesday against the Tigers in the finale of this two-game series. Miami is adjusting its rotation, starting Koehler in that game and pushing LHP Wei-Yin Chen back to Thursday night at Atlanta. Manager Don Mattingly said he wants to match Chen up against the Braves because of the left-handed hitters in their lineup.

Tigers: LHP Daniel Norris (0-0) makes his second start of the season.