Tigers-Rangers Preview

Miguel Cabrera is the first AL Triple Crown winner in 45 years,

and the Texas Rangers know first-hand about his dominance.

Cabrera looks to lead the Detroit Tigers to a second straight

victory over the Rangers on Saturday night.

Cabrera led the league with a .330 average, 44 homers and 139

RBIs last year, making him the AL’s first Triple Crown winner since

Carl Yastrzemski in 1967.

The reigning league MVP and seven-time All-Star is already

making a case for another run at that rare feat. He’s first in the

majors with a .376 average – .509 with runners in scoring position

– and 42 RBIs, while his eight homers rank among the AL

leaders.

That offensive dominance is regularly on display against the

Rangers (27-15). He’s hit .378 with 12 homers and 62 RBIs in 60

career meetings – including playoffs – and he has a .411 average

while knocking in 14 runs over his last 15 games in Arlington.

Cabrera is at it again, collecting four hits with two doubles in

the first two of this four-game series. One of his three hits

Friday was the go-ahead double in the sixth inning of a 2-1 win

after Detroit (23-17) fell 10-4 in the opener.

Despite the slugger’s staggering production, the Tigers have

dropped nine of 12 in Texas, including all three while losing the

2011 ALCS in six games.

Scheduled starter Anibal Sanchez (4-3, 2.05 ERA) will face the

Rangers for the first time since July 1, 2011, while with Florida.

He’s 0-2 with a 7.45 ERA in two career starts versus Texas.

The right-hander, though, has compiled a 2.33 ERA while fanning

42 in 27 innings over his last four starts, splitting four

decisions during that span.

He yielded two runs with eight strikeouts in seven innings of

Monday’s 7-2 win over Houston.

The Rangers, winners of seven of nine, hope to have Ian Kinsler

back in the lineup after he suffered bruised ribs when he was hit

by a pitch from Justin Verlander on Thursday.

The second baseman is a .361 hitter at home against the

Tigers.

Justin Grimm (2-3, 4.28) counters for Texas looking to avoid a

fourth consecutive losing start.

He’s been roughed up to the tune of a 7.02 ERA during his skid,

allowing four homers and nine walks in 16 2-3 innings. Grimm had

won his two previous starts, posting a 0.69 ERA.

The rookie right-hander was hit hard in five-plus innings

Monday, surrendering five runs and seven hits, including a

season-high two homers, in a 5-1 loss at Oakland.

“I think he has been very competitive,” manager Ron Washington

told the team’s official website. “He just has to make certain he

gets his pitches down in the zone. He’s got a couple balls up

lately and they’ve left the ballpark.

“When he takes the mound, I feel good. He’s a young guy and he’s

facing quality hitters he hasn’t seen before.”

Grimm has seen the Tigers, and it ended quickly. He was battered

for six runs and eight hits before being lifted with no outs in the

second inning of an 8-2 home defeat June 25.

Cabrera went 2 for 2 with a double off him.

Tigers manager Jim Leyland needs one win to become the 15th

manager to reach 1,700.