The Detroit Tigers were feeling good and showed it with an impressive offensive outburst.
Miguel Cabrera hit two home runs and tied a career high with six RBI to lead the Tigers’ 17-2 mauling of the Houston Astros on Saturday night.
Cabrera drove in six runs for the fifth time in his career. The last time was against Oakland on Sept. 18, 2012. Cabrera has 10 hits in his last 20 at-bats over his last five games.
”I was feeling good out there today,” Cabrera said. ”I was swinging the bat good, and when you swing the bat good, good things happen.”
Torii Hunter had four hits and drove in two runs as every Tiger starter had a hit. Victor Martinez drove in four and had a two-run homer in the ninth. The 17 runs are the most scored by the Tigers since Sept. 4, 2011, when they had 18 against the White Sox.
”He’s awful good; that’s in the books,” Detroit manager Jim Leyland said of Cabrera. ”Obviously he’s a special player, but a lot of guys did well tonight. … We had a lot of guys that did some good things tonight. It’s one of those where you play a game every now and then where you hit it hard it falls in, you hit it soft it falls in. It’s one of those games.”
Max Scherzer (4-0) won his fourth in a row to begin the season, allowing one run on three hits and striking out eight in eight innings. Detroit has won its first three games against Houston and has won eight of its last nine.
Scherzer, who has struck out at least six in every start this season, was pleased with his outing.
”I thought I did some good things,” the right-hander said. ”I thought my curveball tonight was even better. It was competitive every time I threw it. There were a couple times I got behind hitters. I did a good job of challenging hitters throughout the night. Right now I feel like I am in a good groove of attacking the zone.”
The 15-run loss was Houston’s most lopsided defeat since a 19-3 loss to Colorado on Sept. 25, 2011.
”What you witnessed was why they were the American League champions last year,” Houston manager Bo Porter said. ”They rolled out their A game, and it was pretty impressive.”
Scherzer allowed a leadoff single to Robbie Grossman in the first and sent down the next 16 batters until Matt Dominguez hit a two-out single in the sixth.
Houston (8-23) has the worst record in the majors, having lost five in a row and nine of its last 10 games.
Detroit, which scored at least one run in every inning except the third, got to Houston starter Lucas Harrell (3-3) quickly, scoring six times in the first two innings.
Cabrera followed singles by Austin Jackson and Hunter with an RBI single to make it 1-0, and two batters later, Andy Dirks doubled to score two more. Two batters later, Jhonny Peralta singled to bring home Dirks and give Detroit a 4-0 lead.
Cabrera upped the lead to 6-0 in the second with a monstrous two-run home run off the facade in left field.
Detroit made it 7-0 in the fourth with a bases-loaded walk by Cabrera, and Alex Avila extended the lead to 8-0 with an RBI double in the fifth.
Cabrera started the sixth by sending a Jose Cisnero offering off the facade in deep left field, his second home run making it 9-0 and giving him his 26th multi-homer game.
Hunter, Cabrera and Prince Fielder added run-scoring singles in the seventh, and Peralta, Omar Infante and Hunter each had an RBI in the eighth.
Carlos Corporan ended the shutout with a solo home run in the seventh, and Jason Castro had a run-scoring single in the ninth.
Harrell was hammered for eight runs on 10 hits with three strikeouts and four walks in 4 1/3 innings. His ERA ballooned from 3.60 to 5.03. He entered Saturday’s game having won three in a row and had allowed five runs in 24 2/3 innings over his last four starts.
”I’m really not all that mad about it,” Harrell said. ”I made some really good pitches, in that first inning, especially. Cabrera got weak contact with two on and nobody out when we were trying to get a double-play. I made some good, quality pitches, but they just made better hits.”
Detroit Tigers reliever Drew Smyly has thrown 13 consecutive scoreless innings dating to April 12 following two scoreless innings Friday night. … Detroit OF Jackson extended his hitting streak to nine games with a first-inning single. … Houston entered Saturday’s game leading the majors with 40 double plays turned. … RHP Philip Humber (0-6.7.58 ERA) goes to the mound for the Astros Sunday in search of his first win of the season, while Tigers will counter with RHP Justin Verlander, who is 3-2 with a 1.83 ERA.