DETROIT, Michigan -- Miguel Cabrera entered the game hitting just .206 with three doubles, one home run and six RBI. After Monday's outing, it is safe to say that Miggy is back.
The Detroit Tigers trashed early and often to defeat the Oakland Athletics at Comerica Park, 7-3. Detroit went back-to-back in the fifth inning and got another huge pitching performance from Jordan Zimmermann to lead the charge.
Miggy snaps slump
Cabrera snapped out of his slump during his first at-bat of the game with a solo home run, his second of the season, to right field off Kendall Graveman for a 1-0 edge in favor of Detroit. In the bottom of the second inning, Mike Aviles singled in Nick Castellanos. Aviles got the start over Ian Kinsler due to flu-like symptoms.
With Justin Upton and Jose Iglesias on-base for the Tigers (9-9), Cabrera stepped to the plate and delivered his second moon shot of the game for a 5-0 lead over the Athletics. It was the 34th multi-homer game of Miggy's career and his 25th multi-homer game as a member of the Tigers.
"I threw (Cabrera) two sinkers that were supposed to be away," Graveman said. "I got the sink I wanted, but they both backed up and got too much of the plate. Everybody's seen that guy's trophy case -- you can't make mistakes like that to him."
Victor Martinez, who follows Cabrera in the batting order, hit a solo home run of his own for a 6-0 lead in the bottom of the fifth inning. It marked the second time the Tigers have gone back-to-back during the regular season.
Graveman (1-2, 4.03 ERA) gave up six runs on 10 hits and a walk with four strikeouts across 4.2 innings of work.
"Kendall had good stuff for a while, but when it went, it went fast," Athletics manager Bob Melvin said. "He made a couple mistakes and it let them put a pretty big lead on us."
Cabrera finished 4-for-4 with four RBI and two runs scored. The two-time American League Most Valuable Player and one-time Triple Crown winner now has 40 four-hit games in his career, which is tied with Luis Aparicio, Chuck Klein and Carl Yastrzemski for 42nd in the MLB history books.
The Athletics (10-10) finally got a run on the board off Zimmermann the top of the sixth inning on a single by Billy Burns to score Marcus Semien. Detroit got the run back on a sacrifice fly off the bat of Upton.
Zimmermann dominates, again
Zimmermann (4-0, 0.35 ERA) gave up a run for the first time all season. He owned a 24.1 scoreless innings streak, which is the longest to start the season by any player in Tigers history.
"I had a good little stretch going," Zimmermann said. "Unfortunately, it ended tonight. Hopefully, I can start a new one."
Obscene gesture stuns fans at Comerica Park
Believe it or not, the run allowed by Zimmermann was not even his fault. Tyler Collins lost the ball in the lights and could never find it. After the ball hit the ground and the run scored, Collins made an obscene gesture to the fans at Comerica Park. He was not charged with an error, but Upton was after he failed to field the ball off the ground cleanly.
"To be at home and to hear boos after that play hit a trigger inside of me and I lashed out completely inappropriately," Collins said. "I'm absolutely embarrassed it happened and I'm very sorry to everybody in Detroit."
The center fielder, who started over Anthony Gose, waved his middle finger at the crowd and was yelling at the fans in the stands.
"Clearly, it's something that can't happen," Tigers manager Brad Ausmus said. "I spoke to Tyler immediately in the dugout, in the tunnel, after it happened and I spoke to him after the game. He regrets it."
In the top of the seventh inning, Oakland score two runs - an RBI double by Yonder Alanso and an RBI single by Mark Canha - but the Tigers still held a four run advantage.
Mark Lowe pitched the final two innings of the eighth inning and Justin Wilson allowed one hit, but shut the door, in the top of the ninth inning to secure the 7-3 victory for the Tigers. Prior to the win on Monday night, Detroit had dropped four straight games.
"We did a good job against Zimmermann, but we hit a lot of balls hard right at someone," Melvin said. "(Mike) Aviles made a couple huge plays that stopped us from getting another run and more runners on base."
The Athletics will send left-handed pitcher Rich Hill (2-2, 3.32 ERA) to the hill in hopes of winning Game 2 of the four-game series. Detroit will counter with Mike Pelfrey (0-3, 3.68 ERA), who has been struggling as of late.