On hot streak, Miggy looks in vintage form

Detroit Tigers

The Tigers have spent much of this final stretch looking at players with an eye towards 2021. Miguel Cabrera is now one of them.
Cabrera can’t slug the team out of its losing streak, now at four games after Thursday’s 8-7 loss to the Royals in Kansas City. But with

The Tigers have spent much of this final stretch looking at players with an eye towards 2021. Miguel Cabrera is now one of them.

Cabrera can’t slug the team out of its losing streak, now at four games after Thursday’s 8-7 loss to the Royals in Kansas City. But with two three-run home runs in a near-comeback Wednesday night in Minnesota, then a two-run homer and a two-out RBI single Thursday, he slugged Detroit back into both games.

Box score

With three tape-measure homers over the last two nights, Cabrera is not only making milestones like the 500-homer club well within reach next season, he’s raising hopes he could be a feared slugger once more.

One night after Cabrera turned on a pair of sliders for homers deep to left at Target Field, he sent a 3-2 fastball from Royals rookie starter Kris Bubic to straightaway center and watched it fly. The ball landed midway up the batter’s eye, a 450-foot drive according to Statcast, and tied the game in the process, taking Michael Fulmer off the hook in his final start of the season. The Royals pulled back in front with four runs off Detroit’s bullpen, including three runs off a wild Gregory Soto, but they made sure to pitch to Cabrera carefully every time he came back up around, including a pitching change with two on and two outs in the sixth inning.

That still didn’t help them when back-to-back two-out singles in the eighth inning brought up Cabrera as the potential tying run. Hard-throwing Royals setup man Josh Staumont froze Cabrera on a curveball for strike two, prompting Cabrera to say, “Nice pitch.” But when Staumont followed with a 97 mph fastball off the plate, the kind of pitch that sent Cabrera flailing for much of the season, the former Triple Crown winner got enough to foul it off.

Staumont went for the strikeout again, this time with a high fastball, but Cabrera laced it back up the middle and into center field to score Victor Reyes for an 8-6 game. Former Royal Jorge Bonifacio’s ensuing single off Jake Newberry brought in another run and sent pinch-runner Derek Hill into third as the potential tying run before Niko Goodrum struck out to end the threat.

Jason Beck has covered the Tigers for MLB.com since 2002. Read Beck’s Blog and follow him on Twitter @beckjason.

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