Miguel Cabrera's HR puts him in Triple Crown lead, helps sink Twins
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DETROIT -- Miguel Cabrera hit his 42nd homer, putting him in Triple Crown position, and Doug Fister pitched his first career shutout to help the Detroit Tigers beat Minnesota 8-0 Saturday, keeping their hopes high in the AL Central race.
Detroit began the day 1½ games behind the division-leading Chicago White Sox, who played later at the Los Angeles Angels.
Cabrera's solo shot in the fourth inning tied him with Texas star Josh Hamilton for the most homers in the AL. Cabrera has a relatively comfortable league lead with a .332 batting average and 131 RBIs. Hamilton is sidelined for this weekend's series at Seattle because of a sinus condition that has caused blurred vision.
Carl Yastrzemski won the last Triple Crown in 1967. He took the batting and RBIs title, and tied Harmon Killebrew for the AL homer lead.
Austin Jackson hit a leadoff home run in the first inning and Delmon Young hit a three-run homer in a five-run third that gave Fister more than enough support.
Fister (10-9) gave up seven hits and no walks while striking out seven. He won for the third time in four starts.
Twins starter Samuel Deduno (6-5) gave up seven runs, matching a career high. He allowed seven hits and three walks in just 2 1/3 innings, his shortest start of the season, and lost for the fifth time in seven outings.
The Tigers led off each of the first three innings with a hit.
Austin Jackson sent Deduno's first pitch into the left-field seats, leading off with a homer for the sixth time this season and the 10th time in his three-year career. Andy Dirks hit a double in the second inning and scored on Alex Avila's single.
Quintin Berry singled in the third, Cabrera walked and Prince Fielder hit an RBI single. Young followed with his 18th homer. Dirks tripled and scored on Deduno's wild pitch that was well short of the plate to make it 7-0. Duduno's day was done after following up his only out in the third with his third walk of the game.
Cabrera's homer off Anthony Swarzak in the fourth gave Detroit an eight-run cushion.
Detroit's much-maligned defense helped Fister out by turning two double plays in the first three innings. Second baseman Omar Infante making a diving stab to rob Denard Span of a single in the eighth.
.323: Mauer's batting average
.332: Cabrera's batting average
4.54: Deduno's ERA
RHP Matt Capps (shoulder) is expected to rejoin the Twins next week.
Sunday: @ Tigers, 12:05 p.m. LHP Scott Diamond (11-8, 3.69) vs. RHP Max Scherzer (16-6, 3.78)
Sunday: @ Tigers, 6:05 p.m. RHP P.J. Walters (2-4, 6.39) vs. LHP Drew Smyly (4-3, 4.45)