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Miggy belts two homers in blowout of Cardinals

Miggy belts two homers in blowout of Cardinals

JUPITER, Fla. -- With 10 extra-base hits, including two home runs by Miguel Cabrera and four RBIs from Steven Moya and Nick Castellanos, the Tigers thrashed the Cardinals, 17-5, on Monday at Roger Dean Stadium.

Detroit scored seven times in the third inning, beginning with a two-run blast by Cabrera for his first home run of the spring. It came on the 56th and final pitch from Cardinals starter Shelby Miller, who allowed five hits and two earned runs in 2 1/3 innings. He struck out four and threw 42 of his pitches for strikes.

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"We were really trying to get the ball off the plate and not give [Cabrera] anything to hit, and I just threw it right on the corner," Miller said. "It wasn't the pitch I wanted to throw right there, but it wasn't necessarily a terrible miss. He's obviously a good hitter and did what he did with it."

The game quickly unraveled for the Cardinals after Miller's departure. Lefty Lee Stoppelman came on and gave up the next five runs. Moya had a two-run triple and then scored on a double by Danny Worth. Castellanos and Rajai Davis also drove in runs before the inning ended.

The Tigers did even more damage in the following frame, scoring six times off Cardinals lefty Tyler Lyons before Cabrera punctuated the onslaught with a two-run homer off Keith Butler. Lyons retired the first two batters of the inning before allowing the next seven to reach.

Castellanos stung Lyons with a three-run homer. Worth, Davis and Ezequiel Carrera followed with three consecutive doubles. Detroit entered the day with 23 extra-base hits through its first 12 games. That total included only three home runs, which was matched within the two-inning span.

Cabrera, the reigning American League MVP, improved to 9-for-19 this spring with his three-hit game.

"The thing with Miggy is you feel like this could happen every day," Tigers manager Brad Ausmus said. "Obviously it won't, but you feel like it could.

"Quite frankly, I wouldn't care if he went an entire spring without hitting a home run. In my mind, he should hit them during the season. The water's going to find its level."

All the run support came behind 2013 AL Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer, who pitched 4 2/3 innings in his longest start this spring. The Cardinals mustered two hits -- singles from Peter Bourjos and Daniel Descalso -- against the St. Louis native. Scherzer threw 56 pitches, 37 for strikes.

"I thought I threw the ball excellent today," Scherzer said. "I had command of all four of my pitches. I was really happy with my curveball. The pitch that did it for me was when I got Jon Jay in the third inning. To be able to strike him out on a curveball with a 2-2 count, that tells me that pitch is where it needs to be. It's gotten a lot better. That's the improvement I've been looking for."

Pete Kozma got the Cards on the board with an RBI single in a four-run seventh that was capped by Stephen Piscotty's three-run blast. Piscotty is the Cardinals' No. 7 prospect, according to MLB.com.

The Cardinals, who have won only two of their 10 spring games, have been outscored, 28-6, over the last two days.

Up next: Justin Verlander finally gets to face hitters in other uniforms this spring, when the Tigers battle the Blue Jays on Tuesday in a 1:05 p.m. ET start at Joker Marchant Stadium. Verlander, pitching his first game since core muscle surgery in January, is expected to throw two innings, followed by Phil Coke, Joe Nathan, Joba Chamberlain, Al Alburquerque and Bruce Rondon. MLB Gameday Audio will carry it online, while AM 1270 will have the radio broadcast in Detroit.

Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, and follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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