Miguel Cabrera left the batter's box with a bit of a hop in his step while his drive to right field sailed over the wall.
"A long time, I had not hit a home run," the slugger said.
Cabrera's solo shot in the sixth inning was his 44th of the year, but his first since Aug. 26. It was perhaps the most encouraging highlight for Detroit in a 6-2 victory over the Seattle Mariners on Tuesday night that kept the Tigers six games ahead of second-place Cleveland in the AL Central.
Detroit's magic number to eliminate the Indians is six.
Ahead 3-2, the Tigers escaped a bases-loaded jam in the eighth while playing without closer Joaquin Benoit and left-handed reliever Drew Smyly. They were both given the night off.
"We need everybody here on our ballclub," Cabrera said. "I think everybody here stepped up tonight and did their jobs. It's what we need to still win our games, what we need if we go to the playoffs."
Anibal Sanchez struck out 10 in ...