Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 8/24/13
Before Friday’s game Tigers outfielder Torii Hunter sat by his locker in the visiting clubhouse studying video on his iPad of Mets starter Daisuke Matsuzaka. Hunter was cramming to prep for Matsuzaka who signed a one-year contract Thursday and was named Friday’s starter after spending the season with the Indians at Triple A Columbus. Hunter’s studying paid off as he went 2-for-3 against Matsuzaka including a solo home run and an RBI double helping the Tigers take a 6-1 victory over the Mets at Citi Field. “I just studied his old video and went off that” Hunter said. “He didn’t have the velocity of 95 anymore but he still knows how to pitch.” Miguel Cabrera broke the game open with a three-run blast in the second inning his 41st home run this season. The home run capped a four-run inning started by Omar Infante’s single and a walk to Austin Jackson. Infante scored on Hunter’s ground-rule double to straightaway center field and Cabrera cleared the bases with a mammoth home run which tucked inside the foul pole in left field. The power at the top of the lineup fueled the victory with Jackson Hunter and Cabrera combining to go 5-for-13 with three home runs and six RBIs. “It’s nice” Tigers manager Jim Leyland said. “That’s our trademark — in the gap and over the fence. That’s when we’re pretty good and tonight we did that pretty good.” That proved to be enough run support for Doug Fister (11-6) who gave up one run in 61⁄3 innings and had four strikeouts. Victor Martinez started at catcher — his first start behind the plate since Aug. 4 2011 — because there was no designated hitter in the National League park. He finished 0-for-3 but relished the opportunity to play his old position. “It definitely feels great. Being in the field again was something I want to try again after having a tough year with the surgery” Martinez said. “It tastes even better getting the W.” Martinez got a quick indoctrination with a close play at home plate in the first inning with Daniel Murphy scoring on an RBI single by Marlon Byrd. Martinez blocked the plate but Don Kelly’s throw home came after Murphy crossed the plate.
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