"Of course you wouldn't have believed that, but unfortunately that's what happened," teammate Prince Fielder said. "You never think you're going to lose. You always feel confident you're going to win, but it just didn't work out."
Cabrera, the reigning American League Most Valuable Player singled to left off Texas starter Derek Holland in the first inning, then hammered a three-run, 453-foot blast to right-center in the third. He hit a solo shot in the fifth and was intentionally walked to load the bases in the sixth. He hit another solo homer in the eighth.
It was Cabrera's second career three-homer game, the other one occurring on May 28, 2010. He joined Cecil Fielder (three), Rocky Colavito (two) and Bobby Higginson (two) as the only Tigers to have accomplished the feat multiple times.
Remarkably, the Tigers also lost -- 5-4 to the Athletics -- in Cabrera's first career three-homer game, and he is the eighth player in Major League history to belt three long balls in defeat more than once. It happened to Johnny Mize four times and to Babe Ruth, Ernie Banks, Dave Kingman, Glenn Davis, Joe Carter and Sammy Sosa each twice.
Cabrera has four games this season in which he has gottten four or more hits (most in the Majors) and leads the AL in runs, hits, RBIs, batting average, on-base percentage, OPS and total bases. His performance Sunday boosted his batting average to .387 -- the highest for a Detroit player through games on May 19 since 1979, when Steve Kemp was batting .402.
Joey Nowak is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @joeynowak. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.