By: Dan Dickerson
It wasn’t that long ago that some were wondering why Miguel Cabrera – for all of his unquestioned greatness as a hitter – wasn’t hitting better in the late innings. Nobody is wondering any more. Cabrera led off the 9th inning against Kansas City with a home run down the right field line to give the Tigers a walk-off, 6-5 win over the Royals. For Cabrera, it was hit his fourth, memorable, late inning home run in the last two weeks. Cabrera is hitting home runs with such regularity now that all 41,850 fans at Comerica Park were on their feet before he stepped in to face Aaron Crow in the bottom of the ninth. With the count 3-1, Cabrera sliced a high fly ball down the RF line – into the camera well – to deliver the win.
A brief recap of Cabrera’s HRs the last two weeks:
– in Cleveland, facing Danny Salazar – the fireballing rookie pitcher who had struck Cabrera out three times – Cabrera launched a HR to deep CF in the 8th inning to turn 3-2 deficit into a 4-3 lead.
– in New York, facing Mariano Rivera (0-5 career vs. Mariano), Cabrera hit a two out, two strike, two run home run deep to CF to tie the game, 3-3.
-two days later in New York, Cabrera became the first player to ever hit HRs in consecutive at-bats against Rivera, when he hit HR in 9th to bring Tigers to within a run, 4-3. Martinez homered two batters later to tie the game
– then Saturday night, Cabrera’s HR leading off the ninth delivered a 6-5 win for the Tigers.