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Live Tigers blog: Detroit ends four-game skid

Bruce Mason
The Detroit News

Miguel Cabrera belted two home runs (4-for-4, four RBIs) as the Tigers ended a four-game skid by beating the Oakland A’s, 7-3 on Monday at Comerica Park.

Tigers starter Jordan Zimmermann earned the win to improve to 4-0. Zimmermann's scoreless innings streak stopped at 24 1/3 innings when Oakland's Billy Burns hit an RBI single in the sixth.

Cabrera and Victor Martinez hit back-to-back homers in the fifth off Oakland starter Kendall Graveman.

Zimmermann allowed seven hits and one earned run in 6 2/3 innings. He struck out one and walked one. His streak of 24 1/3 scoreless innings to start his Tigers career is the longest since 1974. The previous mark was set by Doug Bair in 1983 (19 1/3 scoreless innings).

Cabrera ended an 0-for-13 skid when he belted a solo homer in first inning.

Top 9: Wilson closes door

Tigers left-handed reliever Justin Wilson entered the game in the ninth, and Oakland's Billy Butler belted a leadoff double to center field.

From there, Wilson closed the door: Marcus Semien popped out, Billy Burns lined out to center field and Mark Canha grounded out to end the game.

Tiger closer Francisco Rodriguez is on family medical emergency leave.

Bottom 8: Triggs gets 1-2-3 inning

Oakland right-handed reliever Andrew Triggs earned a 1-2-3 inning. The Tigers lead 7-3 after eight innings.

Triggs struck out Tigers center fielder Tyler Collins, who is 0-for-4 tonight (hitting .100 this season). Second baseman Mike Aviles (2-for-3) popped out and Jose Iglesias flied out.

Top 8: Lowe shuts door

Oakland's Jed Lowrie (2-for-4 tonight) hit a line-drive single over the head of Tigers’ left-hander Blaine Hardy to leadoff the eighth.

From there, Tigers reliever Mark Lowe entered the game with one out. He struck out Coco Crisp swinging (94-mph four-seam fastball) and needed one pitch for Khris Davis to hit into a fielder’s choice.

Bottom 7: Quick inning for Rodriguez

Oakland reliever Fernando Rodriguez (1.42 ERA) earned a 1-2-3 inning. The Tigers lead 7-3 entering the top of the eighth.

In the seventh, J.D. Martinez grounded out, Nick Castellanos struck out (94-mph four-seam fastball) and Jarrod Saltalamacchia flied out.

Top 7: A's get two runs 

The inning started when Oakland's Coco Crisp reached base on an error by Tigers starter Jordan Zimmermann, who ran to first base to cover the bag and dropped Miguel Cabrera’s underhand toss. Yonder Alonso followed with an RBI double to cut the Detroit lead to 7-2.

Zimmermann was pulled after issuing a two-out walk to Billy Burns. Tigers left-handed reliever Blaine Hardy entered the game in relief to face pinch-hitter Mark Canha, who hit an RBI single. That made it 7-3.

Hardy ended the inning by inducing a line-out to Josh Reddick.

The Tigers have two errors tonight.

Zimmermann allowed seven hits and one earned run in 6 2/3 innings. He struck out one and walked one.

Bottom 6: Upton hits sacrifice fly; Miggy 4-for-4

Justin Upton’s sacrifice fly scores Mike Aviles to give the Tigers a 7-1 lead in the sixth.

Aviles singled and moved to second on a passed ball. He moved to third on a groundout by Jose Iglesias.

Miguel Cabrera singled and is 4-for-4 tonight (four RBIs). He has a double, solo homer and three-run homer.

Cabrera entered tonight on an 0-for-13 skid.

Top 6: Zimmermann​'s streak ends

Jordan Zimmermann, after 24 1/3 scoreless innings, has finally given up a run. And it came in an odd way.

Oakland’s Marcus Semien hit a towering fly ball to center field, but Tigers outfielder Tyler Collins lost the ball in the lights. Then left fielder Justin Upton tried to scoop the ball and lost it, too, as Semien advanced to third base.

Next to the plate was Oakland's Billy Burns, who hit an RBI single, the first run relinquished by Zimmermann in his career as a Tiger.

The odd play by Collins and Upton was ruled a double and error (charged to Upton).

The Tigers lead 6-1 after the top of the sixth.

Tigers second baseman Mike Aviles saved a run with a sliding stop of a ground ball.

Zimmermann's streak of 24 1/3 scoreless innings to start his Tigers career is the longest since 1974. The previous mark was set by Doug Bair in 1983 (19 1/3 scoreless innings).

Bottom 5: VMart, Miggy hit back-to-back HRs

One day after being benched to rest, Miguel Cabrera is 3-for-3 tonight with two homers and four RBIs as the Tigers lead 6-0 after five innings.

Cabrera and Victor Martinez hit back-to-back home runs in the inning.

Start with Cabrera, who homered to right field for the second time tonight, this time with a three-run homer.

Next came Martinez, batting left handed, who homered to deep right-center field.

It was a string of four straight hits off Oakland starter Kendall Graveman. Tigers shortstop Jose Iglesias and outfielder Justin Upton swatted consecutive one-out singles, then Cabrera hit his second home run of the game to a near-identical spot in right field (solo homer in first inning).

It's the second time this year the Tigers have hit back-to-back home runs. Both involved Martinez. In Miami on April 5, Anthony Gose and Martinez hit back-to-back homers in the ninth inning off Marlins reliever Bryan Morris.

Graveman was pulled after he gave up a two-out single to Nick Castellanos (2-for-3 tonight) and a walk to Jarrod Saltalamacchia.

Graveman’s stat line: Six earned runs, 10 hits (three homers), four strikeouts, and one walk in 4 2/3 innings.

Oakland Liam Hendriks entered with two outs in the inning and struck out Tyler Collins.

Top 5: Zimmermann continues shutout

The broken-record-like pitching of Jordan Zimmermann continues: Another scoreless inning. That's 24 1/3 innings without giving up a run to start his Tigers career.

He was hit hard in the fifth, though: With one out, Oakland designated hitter Khris Davis flied out to the center field warning track, just a few feet in front of the 420-foot fence.

Oakland’s Yonder Alonso grounded out to end the inning.

The Tigers lead 2-0 entering the bottom of the fifth.

Zimmermann has yielded three hits and no walks through five innings. He struck out one batter and has thrown 70 pitches.

Bottom 4: Saltalamacchia flies out to warning track

Oakland starter Kendall Graveman threw a 1-2-3 inning.

It's 2-0 Tigers entering the fifth inning.

Tigers third baseman Nick Castellanos and catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia flied out, and center fielder Tyler Collins grounded out.

Saltalamacchia belted a 92-mph sinker to the right-center field warning track, but it was caught by Oakland outfielder Josh Reddick.

Graveman gave up a solo homer in the first inning to Miguel Cabrera and an RBI single to Mike Aviles in the second.

Top 4: Zimmermann strands runner at third

Tigers starter Jordan Zimmermann faced trouble with a runner on third base and two outs, but he induced an inning-ending groundout to Oakland catcher Stephen Vogt.

It's 2-0 Tigers entering the bottom of the fourth.

Zimmermann has not given up a run in 23 1/3 innings to start his Tigers career.

Oakland’s Josh Reddick and Jed Lowrie delivered back-to-back, two-out singles. Reddick, who is 9-for-33 in his past nine games, advanced to third on Lowrie’s single. But Zimmermann ended the inning when his 81-mph curveball was grounded to second base by Vogt.

Bottom 3: Miggy doubles, but stranded

Tigers slugger Miguel Cabrera delivered a one-out double down the third-base line to make him 2-for-2 tonight (solo homer in the first inning to right field).

Victor Martinez grounded out to advance Cabrera to third. But J.D. Martinez flied out to end the inning.

The Tigers lead 2-0 entering the fourth inning.

Tigers left fielder Justin Upton is 0-for-2 tonight. Dating back to April 13, Upton is 6-for-45 (.133).

Top 3: Tigers turn 26th double play

Tigers right-handed starter Jordan Zimmermann extends his scoreless innings streak to 22 1/3.

The Tigers lead 2-0 entering the bottom of the third.

Oakland designated hitter Khris Davis started the inning with a single (Davis is 7-for-20 in his past six games). But first baseman Yonder Alonso grounded into a double play, the 26th turned by Detroit this season, which ranks second in the American League (Texas, 27).

Shortstop Marcus Semien flied out to end the inning.

Bottom 2: Aviles' RBI single extends lead 

Second baseman Mike Aviles delivered a two-out RBI single to extend the Tigers lead to 2-0.

Aviles started tonight for Ian Kinsler, who is out with flu-like symptoms.

The inning started when third baseman Nick Castellanos singled to deep second base (Jed Lowrie’s throw one-hopped to the bag).

Castellanos stole second base with one out, then moved to third on a groundout by center fielder Tyler Collins.

Castellanos has hit safely in 10 of his past 11 games. He’s hitting .378 (14-for-37) across his past 11 games.

Top 2: Six up, six down for Zimmermann

That’s six up, six down for Tigers right-handed starter Jordan Zimmermann, whose scoreless innings streak extends to 21 1/3 innings.

Oakland second baseman Jed Lowrie lined out to right field, and catcher Stephen Vogt popped out on the first pitch (which makes him hitless in seven straight at-bats).

Left fielder Coco Crisp — a nemesis in previous postseason battles against Detroit — grounded out to end the inning.

Bottom 1: Miggy goes deep

Tigers slugger Miguel Cabrera belted a solo homer to right field off Oakland starter Kendall Graveman to give Detroit a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning.

Cabrera entered the at-bat on an 0-for-13 skid.

Cabrera’s homer, his second of the year, came with two outs. Shortstop Jose Iglesias and left fielder Justin Upton struck out. (Upton leads the majors with 31 strikeouts.)

Victor Martinez continued his success against Oakland with a two-out single. He's hitting .350 (91-for-260) in 71 career games against the A's.

J.D. Martinez grounded out to end the inning.

Top 1: Zimmermann cruises

Tigers right-hander Jordan Zimmermann retired three straight batters to extend his scoreless inning streak to 20 1/3.

Oakland center fielder Billy Burns flew out to left field and third baseman Chris Coghlan grounded out. Then right fielder Josh Reddick struck out — which is quite a familiar scene at Comerica Park.

Remember the 2012 American League Division Series? Reddick struck out 10 times in 17 at-bats, a series won in five games by the Tigers.

Zimmermann seeks to extend streak

Jordan Zimmermann will seek to extend his scoreless innings streak (19.1 innings). The streak to start his Tigers career is tied with Doug Bair (1983) for the longest in franchise history, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

Kinsler out

Tigers second baseman Ian Kinsler (.333 batting average, third in American League) is out tonight with flu-like symptoms.

Mike Aviles will start at second base.

How to watch: Tigers vs. A's

The Tigers open a four-game series against the Oakland A’s on Monday night at Comerica Park by sending Jordan Zimmermann against right-hander Kendall Graveman.

First pitch is 7:10 p.m.

Zimmermann has been nearly perfect this season. He has not allowed a run in 19.1 innings and has struck out 15. He has allowed 15 hits and six walks while building an impressive 1.09 WHIP.

Ian Kinsler was scratched from Monday night's starting lineups with flu-like symptoms.

Two of the most important players in the Tigers’ lineup – No. 2 hitter Justin Upton and No. 3 hitter Miguel Cabrera – were give the day off Sunday against the Indians by Brad Ausmus. The Tigers manager hopes it will help them “reboot” and start hitting again.

That Sunday loss to the Indians was the Tigers fourth straight and the sixth in their last seven games. “We are fighting, but we aren't clicking,” Ausmus says.

Down on the farm, West Michigan Whitecaps outfielder Jose Azocar, 19, has been a “highlight reel” this season and is hitting over .300. Meanwhile in Erie, 2011 draft pick Jason Krizan, also an outfielder, is having a .300 season for the SeaWolves.

TIGERS LINEUP

1. Jose Iglesias, SS

2. Justin Upton, LF

3. Miguel Cabrera, 1B

4. Victor Martinez, DH

5. J.D. Martinez, RF

6. Nick Castellanos, 3B

7. Jarrod Saltalamacchia, C

8. Tyler Collins, CF

9. Mike Aviles, 2B

Jordan Zimmermann, P

A’S LINEUP

1. Billy Burns, CF

2. Chris Coghlan, 3B

3. Josh Reddick, RF

4. Jed Lowrie, 2B

5. Stephen Vogt, C

6. Coco Crisp, LF

7. Khris Davis, DH

8. Yonder Alonso, 1B

9. Marcus Semien, SS

Kendall Graveman, P

TIGERS VS. A'S

When: Monday, 7:10 p.m.

Where: Comerica Park

Pitching matchup: Jordan Zimmermann (3-0, 0.00) vs. Kendall Graveman (1-1, 2.04)

Local TV: Fox Sports Detroit

National TV: None

Internet streaming: MLB.TV (blacked out in Detroit area)

Local radio: 97.1 FM

Satellite radio: SIRI 216