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Updated: August 15th, 2012 3:20pm
Miguel Cabrera continues tear as Tigers, Scherzer shut down Twins

Miguel Cabrera continues tear as Tigers, Scherzer shut down Twins

by Phil Mackey
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MINNEAPOLIS -- Cole De Vries was hit hard by Miguel Cabrera and the Minnesota Twins lineup was shut down by right-hander Max Scherzer in a 5-1 loss to the Detroit Tigers on Wednesday.

The skinny

Cabrera continued his torrid tear on Wednesday, clubbing a solo home run to opposite field and driving home another run with a single.

Cabrera finished the series 6-for-14 with five RBIs, raising his batting line on the season to .327/.388/.585.

Cabrera entered the day within striking distance of the American League Triple Crown title. He leads the American League with 103 RBIs, is now just three home runs behind Adam Dunn, and sits just a few points back of Mike Trout in the batting title race.

"He's just an animal," manager Ron Gardenhire said. "I think he's the best hitter in our league, as far as power, the whole package, driving in runs, producer. ... He's so dangerous. Just to watch him... He hti that ball like a left-hander hits it. The wind was blowing in from there. He's just so strong."

Of the first-inning home run, De Vries said, "If I throw that down, (Cabrera) hits a groundball, but it was up enough where -- God, that dude's a beast, and he's just strong enough to get just enough of it to have it squeak over the wall like that. He's one of those hitters where, I mean, he's pretty much the man."

This marked the third time in his last four starts that De Vries was roughed up. He allowed four earned runs on eight hits and two walks while striking out three in only four innings.

"He misfired a little bit, threw a lot of pitches," Gardenhire said. "The pace of the game has just got to be better than that. Too slow. We stood out there an awful long time, which ended up being 80-plus pitches in four innings. And he battled through it and didn't totally give it up, but like I said, the pace was going along nowhere."

Tigers starter Scherzer dominated the Twins for seven scoreless innings, striking out 10 and walking only two while allowing only four hits.

Joe Mauer drove home the Twins' only run with a two-out, RBI single in the eighth off Octavio Dotel.

Turning point

The Twins' best chance to score came in the bottom of the second inning when Justin Morneau and Ryan Doumit drew back-to-back walks to start the frame.

But Scherzer mowed down Trevor Plouffe, Jamey Carroll and Alexi Casilla via strikeout to end the threat.

"His ball's flying all over the place; we knew that going in," Gardenhire said. "He has filthy stuff. He's got a great sinker, a great slider. ... You're talking about a pretty good pitcher here."

Numbers game

1: Year ago Thursday the Twins traded Young to the Tigers for Cole Nelson and Lester Oliveros.

5.04: De Vries' ERA.

0: Hits, in 12 at-bats, for Plouffe since returning from the disabled list.

43: Players used by the Twins this season, including Pedro Florimon, who arrived to the clubhouse shortly before first pitch. "He's your typical slick-fielding infielder," Gardenhire said. "He can pick it. We saw that in spring training; he probably had the best hands in camp. He's been pretty good. He's handled himself with the bat, he's a switch-hitter. Definitely one of those defensive wiz guys."

Health report

OF Ben Revere tweaked his right ankle on a close play at first base, but he remained in the game and later legged out a triple.

RHP Anthony Swarzak (shoulder) is expected to be activated from the 15-day disabled list prior to the Twins' upcoming road trip.

OF Denard Span (shoulder) is still considered day-to-day.

On deck

Thursday: Off day
Friday: @ Mariners, 9:10 p.m. RHP Nick Blackburn (4-8, 7.33) vs. RHP Hisashi Iwakuma (3-3, 4.16)

Phil Mackey is a columnist for He co-hosts "Mackey & Judd" from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. weekdays on 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.
Email Phil | @PhilMackey | Mackey & Judd