DETROIT — Miguel Cabrera made an out for the first time since Tuesday. He struck out for the first time in September. But while Cabrera’s hit streak was over, the Rays’ troubles with Tigers hitters wasn’t.
Two pitches after the Tigers lost their replay case for a bases-loaded hit-by-pitch, Jonathan Schoop cleared the bases instead with his 20th home run of the season and his fifth career grand slam, powering Detroit to a 10-4 win over Tampa Bay on Friday night at Comerica Park.
Cabrera entered the game with hits in his previous seven at-bats, the longest such streak of his career. He had hit just about every kind of pitch the Pirates threw him in Pittsburgh, and he kept it up Friday against Rays starter Michael Wacha.
Wacha challenged Cabrera with a 94 mph fastball in a 2-1 count in his first at-bat leading off the second inning. Cabrera crushed it, sending a 109.8 mph line drive into center field. It was his highest exit velocity of the streak, and his fifth-hardest hit of the season.
Wacha got on a roll from there, retiring Detroit’s next eight batters. He struck out five consecutive Tigers when Cabrera stepped back to the plate with two outs in the fourth. Again, Wacha put a fastball in the zone, this time with a 1-0 count. Again, Cabrera lined it into the outfield, this time an opposite-field single to right for his 2,973rd career hit.
Cabrera had the longest streak of consecutive at-bats with a hit since Walt Dropo tied the Major League record of 12 in 1952. Cabrera also had the longest streak by a Major League player age 38 or older since fellow Tiger Ty Cobb hit in nine consecutive at-bats in May 1925.