Live Tigers blog: Cabrera powers Tigers to win over Phillies

Geoff Robinson
The Detroit News
Detroit first baseman Miguel Cabrera, left, gets a high-five from designated hitter Victor Martinez after Cabrera hit a home run in the third inning.

Miguel Cabrera paved the way and a few of his buddies followed suit as the Tigers won for the seventh time in eight games and took the first of three from Philadelphia with a 5-4 win at Comerica Park.

Cabrera hit two solo home runs before doubling and scoring what proved to be the winning run in the seventh inning.

The Tigers hit three home runs in the fifth inning to turn a 3-1 deficit into a 4-3 lead. J.D. Martinez and Cabrera went back-to-back before Nick Castellanos decided he wanted to get in on the action as well.

In the ninth, Francisco Rodriguez picked up the save, striking out Andrew Blanco and David Lough before getting Cesar Hernandez to fly out to center field to end the inning.

That's Rodriguez's American League-leading 13th save of the season.

Mike Pelfrey won't get the win tonight after giving up four runs on 11 hits in six innings of work. That's five no decisions in a row for the much-maligned Tigers starter. He's 0-4 on the season.

Justin Wilson, Mark Lowe and Francisco Rodriguez combined to give up just one hit while striking out six out of the bullpen.

With the win, the Tigers move back to .500 at 22-22, something that seemed nearly impossible just one week ago.

Bottom 8th: Tigers 5, Phillies 4

Andrew Bailey came on to pitch the eighth for the Phillies and set the Tigers down in order.

Cameron Maybin flew out to right field, James McCann struck out and Jose Iglesias did the same.

The Tigers will take the slimmest of leads into the ninth inning with Francisco Rodriguez ready to come in and get the save.

Top 8th: Tigers 5, Phillies 4

Cameron Rupp singled off Tigers setup man Mark Lowe with one out in the eighth and switched places with Freddy Galvis after the Philly shortstop grounded into a fielder's choice.

Galvis moved up to second base on a wild pitch, but Lowe was able to pick up his second strikeout of the inning by getting Tyler Goeddel swinging at a nasty breaking ball.

The embattled Tigers set up man got his first K of the frame by punching out Tommy Joseph.

Bottom 7th: Tigers 5, Phillies 4

Miguel Cabrera turned his 500th career double into the go-ahead run after moving up to third base on a wild pitch and being brought home by Victor Martinez, who singled to right field to make it 5-4 in favor of the home team.

Nick Castellanos notched a two-out single, but Steven Moya flew out to left field to end the inning.

Top 7th: Tigers 4, Phillies 4

Despite a couple miscues, the Tigers were able to strand the go-ahead run at second base thanks to some clutch pitching from reliever Justin Wilson.

Peter Bourjos reached after Nick Castellanos bobbled a ball at third base and moved up to second on a wild pitch from Wilson. Odubel Herrera, who has three singles tonight, grounded out back to Wilson to keep the runner in place. Cesar Hernandez struck out swinging at a high heater from Wilson for the second out of the inning. Maikel Franco got a free pass as the Tigers preferred to face the man formerly known as Ryan Howard, who struck out swinging on three pitches.

Bottom 6th: Tigers 4, Phillies 4

The recent fireworks to a seat for the time being as the Tigers went down in order in the sixth inning.

James McCann flew out to right field, Jose Iglesias grounded out and Ian Kinsler did the same, though it took diving stop by Maikel Franco at third base to nab Kinsler.

Top 6th: Tigers 4, Phillies 4

Tommy Joseph caught the bug from the Tigers and drilled a hanging breaking ball from Mike Pelfrey into the bullpen for a one-out, solo home run to tie the game at 4-4.

Cameron Rupp followed with a single, but Pelfrey bounced back by getting Freddy Galvis to fly out and striking out Tyler Goeddel to end the inning.

Ryan Howard struck out to leadoff the inning.

Pelfrey has thrown 94 pitches and given up four runs on ten hits tonight. His night is likely done.

Bottom 5th: Tigers 4, Phillies 3

The Tigers busted loose in the fifth inning with three solo home runs, powering themselves to a 4-3 lead.

J.D. Martinez did his best Miguel Cabrera impersonation, leading off the fifth inning with a solo shot to right field that was a no-doubter as it left his bat, pulling the Tigers within a run at 3-2. Then, Miggy upped the ante by smashing a ball over the left field fence for his second home run of the night to make it 3-3.

That was it for Philly starter Vince Velasquez, who gave up three solo home runs in 4+ innings of work.

Colton Murray got the call out of the bullpen for Philadelphia, recording the first out of the inning by getting Victor Martinez to ground out to first base.

That was where the good times ended for Murray.

Nick Castellanos joined in on the long ball party, homering to left field to put the Tigers in front, 4-3.

Steven Moya struck out and Cameron Maybin put a charge into one that was ultimately caught at the warning track in right field.

Top 5th: Phillies 3, Tigers 1

Tyler Goeddel notched an infield single for Philadelphia to leadoff the inning. Peter Bourjos became Mike Pelfrey's first strikeout victim in the next at-bat, but Odubel Herrera continues to haunt the Tigers' starter, singling for the third time tonight to put runners on the corners for Cesar Hernandez, who flew out to score Goeddel to make it 3-1.

Maikel Franco grounded out to end the inning.

Bottom 4th: Phillies 2, Tigers 1

The Tigers looked poised to get a run or two back in the fourth inning, but they just couldn't take advantage of a golden opportunity.

Steven Moya got things started with a single to center field and Cameron Maybin continues to be otherworldly, singling to center field and advancing to second base on an errant throw.

With two runners in scoring position, James McCann grounded out and Jose Iglesias did the same. With both Moya and Maybin still sitting on the pond, Ian Kinsler flew out to end the inning.

Top 4th: Phillies 2, Tigers 1

Well, that tie game didn't last long. Maikel Franco took Mike Pelfrey deep to leadoff the fourth inning and give the visitors a 2-1 lead.

After Ryan Howard grounded out for the first out of the frame, Tommy Joseph doubled to right-center field to give Philadelphia a man on scoring position. Joseph advance to third as Cameron Rupp grounded out, but Freddy Galvis couldn't deliver, grounding out to first base to end the inning.

Bottom 3rd: Tigers 1, Phillies 1

The rest of Major League Baseball better take notice: Miguel Cabrera is heating up. Cabrera drove a ball, almost effortlessly, deep to right field for his 10th home run of the season to tie the contest at a run apiece.

Victor Martinez followed by notching his second single of the night and Nick Castellanos just missed a home run with a shot to left-center, but Martinez was gunned down with ease as he tried to score all the way from first base.

Ian Kinsler flew out to right field on the first pitch of the inning and J.D. Martinez flew out to right field for the second time tonight.

Top 3rd: Phillies 1, Tigers 0

Odubel Herrera drove Mike Pelfrey crazy in the first inning, leading off the game with a 14-pitch at-bat before singling to center field. This time around, Herrera came to the dish with a man on second base and delivered his second hit of the game to score Tyler Goeddel and give the Phillies a 1-0 lead.

Luckily, Pelfrey was able to limit the damage by getting Cesar Hernandez to ground into an inning-ending double play.

Ian Kinsler got to a tough ball off the bat of Goeddel, but he wasn't able to make an accurate throw to first base, putting the leadoff hitter on for Philadelphia.

Peter Bourjos grounded into a fielder's choice, moving Goeddel up to second.

Bottom 2nd: Tigers 0, Phillies 0

Cameron Maybin stayed hot, singling to center field to leadoff the second inning. The frame stalled quickly, though, as James McCann grounded into a double play and Jose Iglesias flew out to left field to end the inning.

Top 2nd: Tigers 0, Phillies 0

Tommy Joseph grounded out to third, Cameron Rupp grounded out to shortstop and Freddy Galvis singled to left field but was thrown out at second base by Steven Moya after trying to stretch a single into a double.

Mike Pelfrey breezed through the second inning (with the help of a boneheaded decision by Galvis), but I feel compelled to remind the readers out there that the first few innings have not been much of an issue for him lately. His problems typically come in the fifth and sixth.

Bottom 1st: Tigers 0, Phillies 0

Miguel Cabrera drew a two-out walk, Victor Martinez followed with a single to right field and Nick Castellanos drew a free pass of his own to load the bases for Steven Moya, who was at the dish with the bases juiced for the first time as a big leaguer.

The youngster fought valiantly, fouling off a few pitches before ultimately swinging through at 97-mile-per-hour heater from Vince Velasquez.

Ian Kinsler struck out swinging to leadoff the inning and J.D. Martinez put a charge into a ball that nearly made it over the fence in right center field but, ultimately, was the second out of the inning.

Top 1st: Tigers 0, Phillies 0

Odubel Herrera fouled off eight consecutive pitches in a 14-pitch battle with Mike Pelfrey to leadoff the game. Herrera smacked a single back up the middle to win the battle, but it was Pelfrey who got the last laugh, notching a double play ball off that bat of Cesar Hernandez.

Maikel Franco got himself on base with a two-out, loop single to center field, but Pelfrey got Ryan Howard to fly out and end the inning on the first pitch of his at-bat.

Pelfrey got out of the inning having thrown 21 pitches, two-thirds of which were in that battle with Herrera.


1. Ian Kinsler, 2B

2. J.D. Martinez, RF

3. Miguel Cabrera, 1B

4. Victor Martinez, DH

5. Nick Castellanos, 3B

6. Steven Moya, LF

7. Cameron Maybin, CF

8. James McCann, C

9. Jose Iglesias, SS

Mike Pelfrey, P


1. Odubel Herrera, CF

2. Cesar Hernandez, 2B

3. Maikel Franco, 3B

4. Ryan Howard, DH

5. Tommy Joseph, 1B

6. Cameron Rupp, C

7. Freddy Galvis, SS

8. Tyler Goeddel, LF

9. Peter Bourjos, RF

Vince Velasquez, P


When: Monday, 7:10 p.m.

Where: Comerica Park

Pitching matchup: Mike Pelfrey (0-4, 5.49) vs. Vince Velasquez (5-1, 2.42)

Local TV: Fox Sports Detroit

National TV: None

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

Local radio: 97.1 FM

Satellite radio: SIRI 212