Miguel Cabrera hits two homers as Detroit Tigers rout Houston Astros

By Rich Shook, The Sports Xchange
Detroit Tigers' Miguel Cabrera. Photo by Bill Greenblatt/UPI
Detroit Tigers' Miguel Cabrera. Photo by Bill Greenblatt/UPI | License Photo

DETROIT -- Games sometimes go on within the games.

It wasn't a good weekend for the Houston Astros.


The Detroit Tigers thumped them again Sunday 11-0, with Miguel Cabrera hitting two home runs in a four-RBI day, James McCann belting a grand slam, Justin Upton hitting a solo shot and five Tigers pitchers combined on a seven-hit shutout to complete the team's second straight sweep of a three-game series.

"It wasn't our day, it wasn't our weekend, it wasn't our series," Astros manager A.J. Hinch said. "We need to pack our stuff and get out of here, and go home and start fresh for our homestand."

Tigers pitchers hit two Astros and perhaps Houston reliever Scott Feldman took it upon himself to let Detroit know that wasn't acceptable. He drilled Cameron Maybin with a 1-0 pitch as the leadoff batter in the seventh.


Maybin promptly stole second with the Tigers up 8-0, his own little message that hitting him with a pitch wasn't exactly Kosher, either.

"That's exactly right," Maybin said. "It's game on, then. I think Miggy took exception to that. It was just his way of showing he had my back."

"Cam, he took a little umbrage with getting hit," manager Brad Ausmus of Detroit said, "and he decided to take second. It's part of the game. Move on."

Cabrera slammed a 2-2 pitch into the seats in left-center to make it 10-0, and two outs later Upton hiked the lead to 11-0 with his 13th home run. Cabrera hit a solo home run in the fifth and now had 23 this season and the four RBIs put him at 66.

"I'm really big on playing the game the right way," Maybin said. "Miggy comes up and adds on. J-Up comes up and adds on as well. That's what it's about, picking each other up and playing for each other. That was a prime example of playing for each other."

Mike Pelfrey came up and in on Jose Altuve and hit him with a 1-2 pitch to load the bases in the third. Bruce Rondon was a little wild and hit George Springer with a man on and one out in the seventh.


"Two bad games and a walkoff," Hinch said. "We walk out of here with three losses. We've been through this before where we've had a little bit of a lull. We're beat up a little bit, but big deal. We're going to have to deal with it and get home and start against two really good teams on this homestand.

"We will chalk it up as not our time this weekend. I'll be happy to leave Detroit."

A six-run first inning was the last thing expected when last year's Cy Young Award winner, Dallas Keuchel (6-11), took the mound for the bottom of the first.

Ian Kinsler walked on four pitches, Maybin bunted for a base hit, Cabrera grounded an RBI single up the middle, Upton grounded an RBI single to left and McCann swatted his eighth home run off an 80-mph changeup on a 1-1 count.

"Six runs is tough to overcome. That's a big inning," Hinch said. "It's 2-0 if we get out of it, and you still feel really good about it. The grand slam's a killer.

"We left 11 or 12 guys on base so we didn't take any advantage of any opportunities that we had."


Keuchel lasted five innings, allowing seven runs on seven hits with two walks and four strikeouts.

Mike Pelfrey (4-9) pitched five shutout innings to get the win for Detroit. He allowed four hits, walked one and struck out four. Alex Wilson, Bruce Rondon, Kyle Ryan and Mark Lowe pitched an inning apiece.

"His back tightened up on him," Ausmus said. "When he came in from the fifth, he mentioned to me his back had tightened up. We knew about it before the game, that his back had tightened up a little bit.

"He was able to get loose enough to start the game, and pitch five shutout innings. But he was done because of the back at that point."

Mike Aviles doubled leading off against Feldman in the sixth, went to third on a groundout and scored on a sacrifice fly by Jose Iglesias to make it 8-0.

McCann also threw out Springer -- from his knees -- trying to steal with two outs in the fifth.

Rookie Alex Bregman got the first hit of his major league career in his 19th at-bat, a soft single to center in the third inning. The ball was thrown into the Houston dugout and the coach who caught it pulled off the old "throw the rookie's hit to a fan" trick. The coach has a second ball hidden, keeps the real ball and throws the extra into the stands.


NOTES: Rookie Alex Bregman was bumped up to the second spot in the batting order by Houston manager A.J. Hinch despite being 0-for-17 in the majors before Sunday. Bregman has been getting bad results from good swings and Hinch feels a new look might help him. Bregman went 1-for-5. Bregman got a hit Sunday. ... Disabled RHP Jordan Zimmermann (neck) was to throw a bullpen Sunday and another Tuesday before Detroit manager Brad Ausmus decides when to return him to the rotation. ... Ausmus had a bemused take on Cleveland's addition of LHP Andrew Miller. "We're 1-11 against the Indians. Maybe it will change our luck." ... The Astros left Sunday with a 38-21 record since moving RF George Springer up to leadoff May 24.

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