MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - With Miguel Cabrera on the bench and Max Scherzer struggling, the Detroit Tigers still found a way to win big.
Victor Martinez homered and had four RBIs, to lead Detroit to a 13-4 victory over the Minnesota Twins on Sunday.
Rajai Davis also connected for the Tigers, who have won two straight to earn a split of this four-game series.
“We were having better at-bats, we weren’t chasing as many pitches,” said Tigers manager Brad Ausmus. “We’ve been kind of waiting for this for a while. … It was nice to have those guys pick Miggy up.”
Detroit trials Kansas City by two games in the AL Central and is one back of Seattle for the second AL wild card.
Minnesota scored 32 runs in winning the first two games of the series and Detroit had 21 in taking the last two.
The Tigers’ 60 hits in the four games is their most in a four-game series since having 60 at Chicago from July 6-8, 1956. Minnesota set a franchise record for most hits allowed in a four-game series, surpassing the 59 yielded at Texas July 25-28, 2011.
Cabrera didn’t play after aggravating a sore right ankle Saturday. With the Tigers off Monday, Ausmus thought giving the slugger two days to rest was not a bad thing, adding he’d be “shocked” if Cabrera does not play Tuesday.
Martinez homered off Brian Duensing in the sixth for a 7-3 lead. His 25th home run of the season ties his career high set in 2007 with Cleveland.
Davis hit his two-run homer in the seventh to make it 9-3. A bases-loaded triple by Hunter made it 13-4 in the eighth.
“Just to bounce back from losing 20-whatever and 12-whatever, to bounce back shows the fight we have,” Hunter said.
Kennys Vargas had three hits for Minnesota.
“The last two ballgames, their big boys threw and there you have it, it does make a difference,” said manager Ron Gardenhire.
After Justin Verlander won Saturday night, Scherzer (15-4) lasted just five innings, allowing seven hits and three earned runs, but the Detroit bullpen allowed just one earned run on five hits the rest of the way.
“They fouled off pitches, worked counts, did anything they could to grind me out,” Scherzer said.