Home, sweet home.
The Detroit Tigers shook off their road-weary ways and returned to Comerica Park tonight like a different team. Like a team that was far more rested and comfortable at home.
And they didn’t mind treating the Chicago White Sox like rude guests, either, kicking them to the curb with a 15-5 pounding that included 18 hits and three home runs before 28,619.
The Tigers scored more runs this season only once, when they beat the Seattle Mariners, 19-9, on April 25.
Miguel Cabrera went 3-for-3 with four RBIs. J.D. Martinez came within a single of hitting for the cycle, going 3-for-5 with two RBIs. Mikie Mahtook and John Hicks also homered and Dixon Machado had three RBIs.
Right-hander Michael Fulmer (6-3) had another strong outing. He gave up three runs in the fifth inning and just missed starting the season with 11 straight quality starts. He allowed five runs on seven hits with one walk and five strikeouts in seven innings.
And just like that, talk of a disappointing 4-7 trip morphed into a second straight win for the Tigers and their third win in four games.
Of course, this offensive output might have been payback against the Sox. The Tigers swung and missed badly, scoring just nine runs while losing three out of four in Chicago during their recent 4-7 trip.
Tonight, the Tigers did not miss.
They swatted pitches like flies. Even when the Tigers deserved to make an out, they got a hit, such as when three fielders converged on an easy Cabrera pop fly in the fifth inning and let the ball drop for single, leaving the Sox trio looking at each other like the Three Stooges.
When it wasn’t a calamity in the outfield for Chicago, it was chaos on the mound. Left-hander Derek Holland (4-5) looked like a pitching machine set on easy and was pounded early and often. He lasted just 2 1/3 innings, allowing eight runs on eight hits, including three home runs, plus two walks and hitting Justin Upton with a pitch.
The Tigers scored twice in the first inning and three times in the second. They broke it open in the third inning, when they scored five runs and took a 10-1 lead. Martinez led off with his ninth home run. After Upton was hit, Hicks followed with a two-run homer. Dixon Machado’s triple scored Jose Iglesias and Cabrera’s sacrifice fly scored Machado.
In the fifth inning, the Sox mounted a charge and scored three times when they jumped on Fulmer’s two-seam fastball. Chicago scored twice on separate singles to center and once on Melky Cabrera’s sac fly.
Notebook: Designated hitter Victor Martinez left the game with flu-like symptoms. … Cabrera’s two-run double in the second inning was his 1,000th career extra-base hit. He became the 39th player in major-league history to reach the milestone.
Detroit Free Press