Make no doubt about it. The Tigers are the most dangerous team heading down the stretch and likely into the playoffs in the American League.
After having their 12-game winning streak broken by the Yankees on Friday, Detroit came back with a vengeance with a 9-3 triumph over New York Saturday, extending their record after the All Star break to 17-4.
Miguel Cabrera socked his 35th home run of the year, while Torii Hunter supplied four RBI with a sac fly in the first and a three-run, sixth-inning homer, going 3-for-4 and scoring twice, a double and single his other hits.
Hunter has been the ideal #2 hitter for the Tigers all season, consistently supplying key hits at opportune moments. He's batting .312 with 13 homers and 60 RBI. He's also scored 70 runs, ninth-most in the AL. Cabrera leads the league with 84.
The loss sent the Yankees 11 games behind AL East-leading Boston, while the Tigers improved their lead to eight games over Cleveland in the Central division, with Kansas City another 1/2 game back. On Sunday, the Tigers and Yankees will complete their three-game series at 1:05 pm EDT at Yankee Stadium.
Miami halted Atlanta's 14-game winning streak - one shy of the record 15 straight since the Braves moved to Atlanta in 1966 - with a 1-0 win on Saturday, thanks to seven shutout innings from starter Nathan Eovaldi and a bit of timely hitting and heads-up base-running by shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria.
Eovaldi (2-2, 2.82) allowed one hit - a first-inning single by Freddie Freeman - over his seven frames, walking three and fanning eight, but did not receive a decision as Atlanta starter, Alex Wood, kept Miami off the scoreboard for six innings.
Miami didn't break through until the top of the ninth, when Hechavarria tripled to lead off the inning and scored on Jordan Walden's wild pitch for the only run of the game.
The Miami win didn't change much in the NL East. The Marlins still have a secure hold on last place, 26 games out, while Atlanta retains a firm grip on the division lead, with a 14 1/2 game bulge over second-place Washington, the largest lead in the majors.
The two teams will finish up their three-game series Sunday at 1:35 pm EDT at Turner Field in Atlanta.
Today's Trivia: A stat no pitcher can be proud of, who led the AL in bases on balls allowed three straight years, from 1900-1992? )answer tomorrow)
Yesterday's Answer: With 1950 career RBI, Alex Rodriguez needs one more to tie Stan Musial for sixth place all-time.