Cabrera 2 HRs, Tigers move up in playoff race, beat Braves
ATLANTA (AP) Tigers manager Brad Ausmus just wants to focus on his team, rather than worry about the other teams in the AL wild-card race.
''We do appreciate the help, but we've still got to take care of business here,'' Ausmus said. ''We were able to do it tonight.''
Miguel Cabrera hit two home runs, Ian Kinsler and Justin Upton also connected and Detroit moved up in the playoff race, beating the Atlanta Braves 6-2 Friday night.
The Tigers won their third straight and pulled within a half-game of Toronto for the second wild-card spot. The Blue Jays lost at Boston 5-3. Baltimore remained 1 1/2 games ahead of Detroit.
The regular season is scheduled to end Sunday, but the Tigers might need to play beyond that. They were rained out against AL Central champion Cleveland this week and would have to make up that game at home if it impacts their playoff chances.
''We know we've got to take care of our business and see what happens on the other end,'' Upton said. ''It worked in our favor tonight.''
Daniel Norris (4-2) gave up one run, five hits, two walks and struck out eight in 6 2/3 innings.
The Braves, playing their final series at Turner Field before moving north to the suburbs next year, had won 10 of 11. Matt Wisler (7-13) was chased in the fifth when James McCann's RBI single made it 5-0.
Detroit led 3-0 in the first on Kinsler's leadoff homer and Cabrera's two-run shot over the center-field wall.
Cabrera launched his 38th homer to the same location in the third, putting Detroit up 4-0.
Upton hit his 30th homer to make it 6-0 in the seventh. Closer Francisco Rodriguez, in a non-save situation, struck out the side in the ninth.
Wisler gave up five runs, nine hits, two walks and struck out three in 4 2/3 innings. He ended the season with a 5.00 ERA in 26 starts and one relief appearance.
Cabrera, a two-time AL MVP, has been a tough out over the last couple months, hitting .357 with 20 homers and 55 RBIs in his last 63 games. He has six multihomer games this season and 39 in his career.
''For him it's pretty normal,'' Ausmus said, ''but he's set a standard offensively that few have ever equaled in the history of the game.''
Norris escaped a jam with two runners on in the third when Matt Kemp flied out to the warning track.
Norris pitched through pain after Adonis Garcia's liner glance off his right wrist below his glove in the fifth, striking out the next four batters he faced to end the sixth.
Having an early lead helped Norris relax.
''I completely changed my game plan,'' Norris said. ''You go out there and you have a lead like that, `OK, I'm attacking these guys no matter what.' This offense just really makes things easy sometimes.''
Brandon Snyder hit his fourth pinch-hit homer of the season to cut the lead to 6-1 in the seventh and chase Norris.
Kemp made it 6-2 in the eighth with his 35th homer.
Upton is hitting .320 with 17 homers and 40 RBIs in his last 36 games.
Detroit CF Cameron Maybin stayed in the game after getting hit on the left hand by Brandon Cunniff's pitch in the sixth. Maybin sustained a left thumb contusion on a head-first slide on Aug. 29 and had his left wrist broken by a pitch in spring training.
With 446 homers, Cabrera moved into the 40th place on the career list. The 11-time All-Star began the game one homer behind Texas' Adrian Beltre. ... Kinsler's 28th homer tied Lou Whitaker in 1989 for the most homers by a Tigers second baseman in a single season. It was his eighth leadoff homer this year and 40th of his career.
Ausmus said RHP Michael Fulmer will start Monday if the Tigers play a makeup game against Cleveland. The rookie is 1-2 with a 6.98 ERA in four career starts in the season series.
Tigers RHP Jordan Zimmermann is 3-1 with a 2.06 ERA in five career starts at Turner Field, 7-3 with a 2.55 ERA in 16 career starts against Atlanta. Injuries have caused problems in his first year with Detroit. Since June 24, Zimmermann is 0-3 with a 16.78 ERA in four starts, a span of 12 1/3 innings. ... Braves rookie RHP Aaron Blair is 1-7 with an 8.02 ERA in 14 career starts.