DETROIT Miguel Cabrera and the Detroit Tigers were due for a game like this.
Cabrera homered twice and drove in five runs, and Anibal Sanchez pitched eight sharp innings to lift the Tigers to a 13-1 victory over the Minnesota Twins on Thursday. Detroit scored seven runs in its previous four games before nearly doubling that total in the series finale against Twins.
“We’ve been kind of waiting for this, I think everybody has,” manager Brad Ausmus said. “Players, coaching staff, fans, I think everyone was kind of waiting for the offense to kind of break out a little bit.”
Nick Castellanos and Bryan Holaday also went deep for the Tigers, and Anthony Gose added a career-high four hits. It was Cabrera’s third multihomer game of the season and 33rd of his career. He has a team-high eight home runs in 2015.
Sanchez (3-4) allowed a run and five hits after entering the day with a 5.44 ERA. He struck out nine and walked one.
Mike Pelfrey (3-1) allowed four earned runs and 10 hits in 4 2-3 innings.
“I’ll take the blame for it — that’s fine,” Pelfrey said. “That guy on the other side was pretty dominant today, so I needed to be better, and obviously wasn’t good enough.”
The Tigers already led 5-1 when Cabrera hit a two-run homer to left in the sixth. He added another two-run shot an inning later.
Detroit’s 13 runs and 20 hits were both season highs.
Minnesota was trying for its fourth consecutive series win, but the Tigers took the finale of this three-game set in emphatic fashion.
Cabrera was 2 for 17 on Detroit’s homestand coming into the game, but he opened the scoring with an RBI single in the first and then came home on a sacrifice fly by Yoenis Cespedes.
Rajai Davis added a run-scoring double later that inning.
Castellanos made it 5-1 with his homer in the fifth, and the Tigers scored three runs in the sixth. After Cabrera’s home run, Holaday hit an RBI double to put Detroit ahead 8-1.
Gose and Ian Kinsler hit consecutive triples to start the bottom of the seventh, and Cabrera followed with a drive that barely cleared the wall in right to make it 11-1. Holaday added a two-run shot in the eighth — his first homer of the year and second of his career.
Detroit’s three highest-scoring games this year have all been against the Twins. The Tigers beat Minnesota 11-0 on April 8 and 10-7 on April 29.
Detroit began Thursday’s game with a terrific double play on a grounder up the middle by Kurt Suzuki. Shortstop Jose Iglesias ranged well to his left and shoveled the ball with his glove to Kinsler at second, who barehanded it and threw to first.
“The adjustment I have to make with Jose isn’t how many balls he can reach, it is how many ways he has of delivering them to me,” Kinsler said. “He still surprises me with some of his flips. For one thing, he can throw the ball as hard with his glove as most people can with their arm.”
Kinsler is still homerless this season, although his leadoff double in the sixth nearly cleared the fence. Kinsler actually appeared to slow into a trot as he neared first base coach Omar Vizquel before realizing the ball was still in play.
“Omar was about to give me a high five, so I thought it had gone out,” Kinsler said. “Then I had to start running.”
The Twins have won 10 of 14, and that includes a 3-3 mark on this road swing to Cleveland and Detroit, but Thursday’s game was a rough way to end the trip.
“We’re trying to hold our own the best that we can when we’re on the road,” manager Paul Molitor said. “A chance to come back and win this series, and they kind of dominated today.”
Twins: Minnesota RP Brian Duensing allowed Cabrera’s first homer — he had not given up a run since returning May 2 from a right intercostal strain.
Tigers: Victor Martinez, who is off to a slow start after offseason knee surgery, had the day off.
Detroit heads to St. Louis for a three-game series. The Tigers will send RHP Shane Greene (3-2) to the mound against RHP Carlos Martinez (3-1) on Friday night.
Minnesota returns home to face Tampa Bay for three games. Twins RHP Phil Hughes (2-4) takes on RHP Jake Odorizzi (3-2) on Friday night.