Tigers’ Cabrera takes hot bat to Oakland

Miguel Cabrera is on the upswing and already victimized the Oakland Athletics last month.

Now the Detroit Tigers superstar may have a perfect opportunity to end his woes against left-handers when he faces Sean Manaea for the first time.

Cabrera and the visiting Tigers start a three-game set Friday night (9 pregame, 10:05 first pitch on FOX Sports Detroit) when they meet Manaea and the struggling Athletics.

Detroit (23-23) took three of four from Oakland at home from April 25-28. Cabrera went 5 for 12 with two homers, two doubles and five RBIs in that series, Cameron Maybin was 6 for 13 and Victor Martinez 5 for 11.

Cabrera has hit safely in 10 of his last 11 games, batting .452 with seven homers and 15 RBIs. He homered twice with five RBIs as the Tigers took two of three from Philadelphia to cap a 7-2 homestand after Wednesday’s 8-5 loss.

"It was a good homestand," acting manager Gene Lamont told the Tigers’ official website. "Once you’re 7-1, you want to go out 8-1."

Lamont was in charge for Brad Ausmus, who will miss the game to attend his daughter’s high school graduation.

Cabrera is a career .316 hitter off southpaws, leading the AL in that department in 2013 at .368. That’s why it’s surprising that he’s hitting only .219 off left-handers this year in 40 plate appearances.

He may like his chances of getting untracked against the rookie Manaea (1-2, 7.62 ERA), who is limiting left-handed hitters to a .130 average but allowing right-handed batters to hit .346.

Manaea yielded five runs over 6 2/3 innings in Saturday’s 5-1 loss to the New York Yankees.

"I let my mind wander and I didn’t get it back, that’s completely on me," Manaea said. "I didn’t execute the plan that we talked about before. It’s something that I need to get better at."

Batters putting the first pitch in play against the left-hander are 10 for 19 and 5 for 8 when putting a 1-0 pitch into play.

The Tigers will counter with their own rookie in Michael Fulmer (3-1, 5.13), who won his home debut Saturday by yielding one run in seven innings with 11 strikeouts in a 5-4 victory over Tampa Bay.

The right-hander goes back on the road, where he posted a 6.52 ERA through four outings and failed to last past the fifth inning each time. Fulmer has never faced the Athletics.

Oakland (20-28) has dropped six of seven after a 13-3 rout by Seattle on Wednesday. The Athletics fell behind by six runs after three innings.

"At one point we came back it was 7-3 and we had a chance, and then it got out of reach a little bit," manager Bob Melvin said.

Khris Davis hit his 13th homer. The slugger went 6 for 17 with a homer and a triple in last month’s series in Detroit.

Jed Lowrie was 7 for 15 in that series but Chris Coghlan was hitless in 12 at-bats. Coghlan is in a 1-for-22 slump.

Detroit’s Ian Kinsler could return after missing two games due to the flu.