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Miguel Cabrera, Tigers aim for encore against Royals

Sportsnaut
Jul 12, 2022; Kansas City, Missouri, USA; Detroit Tigers designated hitter Miguel Cabrera (24) is congratulated in the dugout against the Kansas City Royals after scoring in the seventh inning at Kauffman Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Miguel Cabrera, fresh off a history-making game, will attempt to guide the Detroit Tigers to another win over the host Kansas City Royals on Wednesday afternoon.

Detroit will send Tarik Skubal (6-7, 3.99) to the mound to face Brady Singer (3-3, 4.25 ERA) in the finale of a four-game series. The Royals swept a doubleheader on Monday before the Tigers posted a 7-5 victory on Tuesday.

Cabrera broke a tie for 15th in career RBIs with Ken Griffey Jr. with his first of the night in the fifth inning. He moved into a tie with Ted Williams with his second, on a sixth-inning grounder that gave the Tigers a lead they wouldn’t relinquish.

Cabrera and Williams now share 14th place with 1,838 RBIs. For good measure, Cabrera stole his first base since 2020 later in the seventh inning. He swiped third and scored on a throwing error on the play.

“My mind said go, so I go,” the 39-year-old veteran said. “It was a good opportunity. We got to make something happen. Thank God I was safe.”

The error by catcher MJ Melendez on Cabrera’s steal was part of a rare poor defensive game for Kansas City. The Royals committed four errors, including three in the decisive four-run seventh inning.

“I don’t think you see many games like that with that many incredible defensive plays with that many miscues,” Kansas City manager Mike Matheny said. “It was just a strange mix.

“There were a couple of plays there that just looked ugly. Those are all game-changers. That inning got away from us with our defense. That hasn’t happened very often this season.”

Skubal, who is 1-5 with a 4.38 ERA in eight career appearances (six starts) against Kansas City, will look to build on the victory for the Tigers. He won his latest start on Friday against the White Sox after taking five straight losses.

The left-hander allowed two runs on six hits in six innings vs. Chicago. More important, he struck out seven and walked only one, the fewest freebies since his prior victory.

Over his previous five starts, Skubal allowed 23 runs in 23 innings.

“You just got to get the next opponent,” Detroit manager A.J. Hinch said on his advice to Skubal over the rough stretch. “We try to stay grounded here and just work on whatever we’re dealing with, with the opponent in front of us.”

Singer will hope to continue a recent surge by the Royals. A victory would clinch their second home series victory in a row after they hadn’t won a home set since late April. It would also be Kansas City’s second series win over Detroit this month.

Singer has never lost to the Tigers, going 4-0 with a 2.98 ERA in eight career starts. In his start at Detroit on July 3, he tied his season-high with nine strikeouts. He gave up two runs on six hits in 4 2/3 innings during a no-decision.

“I think that was probably the best stuff I’ve had all year,” Singer said, lamenting the fact that he didn’t last long enough to earn the win. “It’s extremely frustrating. I definitely want to go deep in the games as much as I can, and (I) felt like I had the stuff to do it. I just kind of hit a roadblock in the fifth.”

–Field Level Media