Erasing mini-slide, Miggy back in prime form

Tigers superstar collects 35th career multihomer game in losing effort

Erasing mini-slide, Miggy back in prime form

DETROIT -- Rays manager Kevin Cash has seen this Miguel Cabrera before.

As Cabrera's second home run on Friday night clanked off the front of Comerica Park's center-field camera well, bringing the Tigers within a run in the seventh inning, all Cash could hope for was that Cabrera wouldn't come back up with a chance to tie or win it.

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Once Cabrera came back up in the ninth as the tying run against Alex Colome, a pitcher Cabrera twice homered off in 2013, all Cash could hope for was to keep the 10-time All-Star in the park. It was one of the happiest singles Colome might allow, and it kept the Rays in line for their 7-5 win.

Still, if the Rays had played their outfielders any deeper, they might have needed their passports for the border to cross into Canada.

"Played against him. Coached against him. Saw him way too much in Cleveland when I was the bullpen coach there," Cash said. "The guy's unbelievable."

Any lingering questions about Cabrera's ability to hit for power again should've been answered before his second two-homer game of the season. Cabrera homered last Saturday and Sunday in Baltimore, breaking a two-week drought. Then he hit a ball off the camera well during pregame batting practice on Friday afternoon.

"He's starting to really look like Miggy," Tigers manager Brad Ausmus said.

Cabrera's first home run on Friday came on a classic Cabrera swing, allowing him to loft a Matt Andriese fastball the other way, into the right-field corner for a game-tying two-run homer in the third inning.

Cabrera's two-run smash

Had Cabrera received another fastball on his first pitch when he came back up in the fifth inning, he might have gotten Andriese again. His drive off a changeup sent Kevin Kiermaier to the warning track in right-center, where the center fielder corralled the ball 394 feet from home plate, according to Statcast™. Cabrera looked out from first base in frustration, seemingly knowing he'd barely missed it.

Cabrera's drive a couple of innings later left Kiermaier to just watch. Statcast™ estimated the drive at 431 feet from the plate based on trajectory, stopped only by the base of the camera well.

Cabrera's second homer

"Those three balls were probably almost 1,200 feet," Ausmus said.

It was the 35th multihomer game of Cabrera's career and his 26th with the Tigers, tying him with Willie Horton for third most in franchise history.

Cabrera is 11-for-24 over his last six games, including four homers and a triple. He's 20-for-48 over his last 13 games and has raised his batting average from .262 on May 6 to .308.

Jason Beck has covered the Tigers for since 2002. Read Beck's Blog, follow him on Twitter @beckjason and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.