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Cabrera overcomes night fright as Tigers beat Cardinals

May 16, 2015

ST. LOUIS (AP) — Detroit slugger Miguel Cabrera ended his peculiar season-long slump in night games by hitting a two-run homer and two singles to power the Tigers to a 10-4 win against majors-leading St. Louis on Friday.

The victory kept the Tigers within one game of the American League lead, jointly held by Kansas City, which routed the New York Yankees, and surprise packet Houston, which defeated Toronto.

The Yankees retained the AL East Division lead as nearest rival Tampa Bay lost at Minnesota.

Detroit got homers from Yoenis Cespedes and J.D. Martinez along with Cabrera, who entered the game with a batting average of just .158 with no homers and one RBI in night games, as opposed to a .471 average with eight homers and 25 RBIs in day games.

He went some way to correcting that imbalance by hitting his 399th career homer and third in two games with a seventh-inning long shot, tying Andres Galarraga for most by a Venezuelan-born player.

Martinez followed with his eighth homer of the season to make it 5-0.

Kansas City’s Lorenzo Cain had a career-high five RBIs as the Royals thrashed the Yankees 12-1.

Kendrys Morales drove in three more runs for the Royals, who scored six times in the sixth inning.

New York starter Michael Pineda matched a career worst by giving up 10 hits as the Yankees suffered their fourth straight loss.

Houston pitcher Dallas Keuchel improved his season win-loss record to 5-0 as he guided the Astros to an 8-4 win against Toronto.

Keuchel (5-0) won his seventh straight decision stretching back to last season.

The win owed much to his early run support, as Jose Altuve hit a three-run homer for the Astros, who won a third straight game.

Minnesota’s Danny Santana hit a triple which keyed a late two-run rally that lifted the Twins to a 3-2 win against Tampa Bay.

The Rays led 2-1 in the seventh before Aaron Hicks led off with a single and Santana followed by hooking a ball into the right-field corner for a triple that tied the game. Brian Dozier then put the Twins on top 3-2 with a sacrifice fly.

Twins starter Phil Hughes (3-4) gave up two runs in seven innings to win his third straight start.

Washington’s Bryce Harper hit his NL-leading 13th homer of the season as the Nationals crushed San Diego 13-0.

Nationals starter Jordan Zimmermann (3-2) struck out six in six innings to win his fourth straight start. He allowed three straight singles opening the fifth before retiring the side.

Reliever A.J. Cole, called up from the minor leagues, pitched three scoreless innings.

The Nationals had a season-high 16 hits.

Pittsburgh right fielder Gregory Polanco tripped and fell while trying to catch an easy fly and the ball dropped for an RBI single in the 12th inning that sent the Chicago Cubs to a startling 11-10 win over the Pirates.

The Cubs won their fifth straight game, matching their longest string since last June.

Chicago loaded the bases with one out in the 12th and Matt Szczur lifted a routine fly to shallow right field, not likely to score the winning run.

Polanco came running in with plenty of time to make the catch, then slipped and stumbled to the ground. He reached up with his bare left hand trying to make a play, but had no chance and never touched the ball as Starlin Castro ran home.

In the exact same situation in the 10th — bases loaded, one out — Polanco caught a deeper fly by Szczur and threw out Castro at the plate to end the inning.

San Franciso’s Brandon Belt hit a three-run homer to lead the Giants to a 10-2 win at Cincinnati in a game that continued while a smokestack beyond the outfield burned for the length of an inning.

Belt also had an RBI double among his three hits and scored three times, while Buster Posey added a two-run shot for the Giants.

Reds starter Jason Marquis (3-3) lasted only three innings, giving up six runs.

One of the two riverboat smokestacks that shoot off celebratory flames and fireworks caught fire in the top of the sixth. Flames shot from the top of the smokestack and spewed dark smoke until firefighters quelled it.

Los Angeles ace Clayton Kershaw earned his 100th career victory by leading the Dodgers to a 6-4 win against Colorado.

Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen, returning after February foot surgery, struck out four batters in the eighth inning on just 14 pitches. The first one, Carlos Gonzalez, still reached base as the pitch got past the catcher.

Jansen pulled off the rare feat at an ideal time, after the Rockies had scored four runs in the seventh.

Seattle’s Nelson Cruz hit an RBI single with two outs in the ninth inning to drive in Brad Miller from second base and give the Mariners a 2-1 victory over Boston.

Milwaukee’s Ryan Braun homered twice and made a marvelous catch, leading the Brewers to a 7-0 victory at the slumping New York Mets.

The Los Angeles Angels won 3-1 at Baltimore, with Jered Weaver allowed just one run while pitching into the eighth inning.

Atlanta’s Todd Cunningham had three hits in his first big league start, including a tiebreaking single in the eighth inning that lifted the Braves to a 5-3 win against Miami.

Philadelphia’s Jeff Francoeur delivered a go-ahead single in the seventh inning to help the Phillies beat Arizona 4-3 for their first three-game winning streak this season.

Cleveland’s Nick Swisher had three hits and his first three RBIs of the season as the Indians defeated Texas 8-3.

Chicago’s Avisail Garcia doubled in two runs to cap a five-run seventh inning which boosted the White Sox to a 7-6 win at Oakland.

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