Miguel Cabrera stays patient as Tigers’ opponents avoid him

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Terry Foster
The Detroit News

Detroit — Tigers first baseman Miguel Cabrera is
smart enough to know what’s happening. Teams don’t want him beating
them, so they’re pitching around him and, tough situations,
intentionally walking him.

But he won’t get angry or
frustrated. And he refuses to play outside of himself and try to make
miracles happen.

“No, no, no” he said. “That is part
of the game. When you’re out there and they pitch around you it’s
nothing about being frustrated and it’s not like you go, ‘Wow, there’s a
lot of anger.’ You just got to keep playing and play hard and let
something happen.”

Cabrera has 19 walks in 25 game
since the All-Star break, which leads Major League Baseball. He
currently ranks fourth with 62 walks overall. Teams avoid him because
he’s a Triple Crown candidate, batting .343 with 26 home runs and 93
RBIs.

During the Tigers 9-4 victory over the Angels,
Cabrera went 1-for-5 and didn’t walk. Unlike other teams, the Angels
went after Cabrera.

Tigers manager Jim Leyland
doesn’t want Cabrera to start relaxing because he thinks he’s going to
be pitched around.

“Sometimes they don’t pitch around
guys as much as you think they have,” Leyland said. “I think for most
of the year they have not done a whole lot of that. I think sometimes it
can become a head game more than anything else: Are they going to or
are they not going to?.”

But Leyland admits the
injury to Magglio Ordonez (fractured right ankle) and Brennan Boesch
cooling off has given Cabrera less lineup
protection.

“I’ve always said the only guy who can
protect Miggy Cabrera is Cabrera, unless you have a guy like Albert
Pujols batting behind him.” Leyland said. “They are going to take their
chances some place else.”

Back in the
swing

Alex Avila was relieved when he
knocked in the go-ahead runs in the sixth inning. That made up for a
base-running blunder in the third when he was caught napping on second
base. It didn’t set well with Leyland and Avila realizes he must pay
closer attention to detail.

“I was trying to get
aggressive,” Avila said. “On contact you want to score on a base hit. I
just got a little too aggressive and it happened. I just wanted to get a
win today, so I can get some sleep tonight. But it was great to
overcome some mistakes and get a win.”

Porcello
rebounds

Leyland hasn’t always been
thrilled with Rick Porcello ‘s pitching. Porcello was expected to be a
mainstay this season but has struggled.

He pitched
pretty good Sunday to improve his record to 5-10. He threw six innings
and gave up two earned runs and eight hits. One run was unearned, coming
off a Porcello error.

“We need every win we can get
right now and, hopefully, this will carry us to the Tampa series and
carry it on the road with us (after the Tampa series),” Porcello said.
“We got to play our butts off to get some wins and kind of turn this
thing around a little bit.”

Porcello didn’t allow a
home run Sunday, just the second time in his last seven outings that has
happened.

Around the horn

The Tigers
recorded 13 hits. They are 35-13 when recording 10 or more hits in a
game.

… Ryan Raburn and Don Kelly recorded outfield
assists. The Tigers lead the American League with
28.

Aug. 9,
2010