Their latest effort was to quell the recent uprising by the Indians, who had drawn to within three games of the Tigers after taking two from the Royals and having the final game of that series suspended by rain.
Detroit batters took little time to let their opponents know what they thought of Cleveland starter, Cory Kluber, hammering him for seven hits and five earned runs in just 2 2/3 innings, en route to a 20-hit, 12-1 victory.
Miguel Cabrera rapped out a pair of singles and a pair of homers in five at-bats, driving in three runs and scoring four times. Cabrera popped his 18th homer of the season in the first inning with a man aboard, then added his 19th with a solo shot in the eighth. The three RBI gives Cabrera 94 on the year, fourth in the AL behind rookie Jose Abreu, who leads the league with 99.
The result left the Tigers 1/2 game behind Kansas City in the divisional standings, but four games up on both the Yankees and Indians in the race for the second wild card spot. The Tigers are just 1 1/2 up on Seattle, however. The Oakland A's have the first spot in hand, for now, with a four-game edge over Detroit.
ESPN delivered a holiday treat as the nationally-televised game between the Phillies and Braves on Monday turned into the fourth no-hitter of the season in the majors, as Cole Hamels shared the workload with three relievers in a 7-0 whitewash.
While quite effective, the no-hitter was hardly a thing of spectacular beauty. Hamels, who worked the first six innings, struggled with his control throughout, walking five batters and plunking Atlanta second baseman Phil Gosselin, but managed to keep the Braves' bats silent as he fanned seven but was spent after throwing 108 pitches.
Jake Diekman fanned two of the three batters he faced in the seventh and Ken Giles struck out the side in the Atlanta eighth. Jonathan Papelbon retired the final three batters in the ninth in order, completing the no-hit effort, the first combined no-hitter in Phillies history.
Ben Revere drove in five runs for Philadelphia with a sac fly in the third inning, a bases-clearing triple in the seventh and a run-scoring single in the ninth.
The victory did not lift the Phillies out of last place in the NL East, where they trail the Mets at the bottom by 1/2 game, but it did damage to Atlanta's post-season hopes, keeping them three games behind San Francisco and 1 1/2 back of Milwaukee in the race for the two wild cards. The Brewers and Giants were both losers on Monday, the Brewers falling, 4-2, at the Cubs, while the Giants came up short in a 10-9 shootout in Colorado.
Game two of the four-game series in Atlanta starts at 7:10 pm EDT at Turner Field.