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
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
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.