Tigers 12, Athletics 2

Associated Press  |  Last updated September 18, 2012
Miguel Cabrera homered twice, including an eighth-inning grand slam, and the Detroit Tigers had no trouble overcoming an early injury to right-hander Max Scherzer in a 12-2 rout of the Oakland Athletics on Tuesday night. Cabrera matched a career high with six RBIs and now has 40 homers on the season - also a career best. Prince Fielder and Jhonny Peralta added home runs for the Tigers, who were three games behind the first-place Chicago White Sox in the AL Central coming into the night. Scherzer left after two innings because of a fatigued throwing shoulder. An MRI showed no structural damage. Darin Downs (2-1) pitched 2 2-3 scoreless innings for the win. Oakland rookie A.J. Griffin (6-1) lost for the first time in his career. Scherzer entered the game with a major league-leading 220 strikeouts and added four more to that total before being relieved by Downs after only two innings. He's expected to go a couple days without throwing, then be evaluated again. After a gut-wrenching 5-4 loss to the White Sox in Chicago on Monday, the Tigers were back home, where they've now won 27 of 35. They'll play their next nine games at home before going on the road for the final six. Griffin was the only pitcher since at least 1918 to allow three runs or fewer and walk two batters or fewer in each of his first 11 career starts. That streak came to an end Tuesday. He allowed five runs and eight hits in 4 2-3 innings, walking one and striking out three. Oakland took the lead in the first on an RBI single by Brandon Moss, but Detroit answered immediately with Cabrera's sacrifice fly. Peralta gave the Tigers a 2-1 lead in the second with his 12th homer of the year, and Cabrera hit a solo shot of his own the following inning. Fielder's 27th homer of the year - a two-run shot in the fifth - made it 5-1, and the A's never made much progress against the Detroit relievers. Oakland came in three games behind first-place Texas in the AL West, but leading the wild-card race. This 10-game swing to Detroit, New York and Texas is their last trip of the regular season. Austin Jackson hit an RBI double in the sixth for Detroit, and Quintin Berry added a two-run double to make it 8-1. Berry left in the top of the seventh with a right shoulder contusion after a diving attempt to catch Josh Reddick's double. X-rays were negative. Reddick scored on a single by Yoenis Cespedes. Oakland outfielder Coco Crisp started after having been out since Saturday. He'd missed time because of an allergic reaction in his left eye, and he left this game in the fourth because of complications to an existing eye infection. Detroit added four more runs in the eighth on Cabrera's grand slam. Oakland reliever Jesse Chavez was then ejected for hitting Fielder with a pitch. NOTES: Detroit RHP Justin Verlander (14-8) takes the mound Wednesday night against Oakland LHP Brett Anderson (4-1).
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