Detroit, MI (Sports Network) – Miguel Cabrera roped a single into left field, scoring two runners and keying one of Detroit’s biggest innings of the season.
Cabrera’s hit scored the go-ahead runs during a seven-run eighth Sunday afternoon that was more than enough to give the Tigers an 8-3 win over Arizona in the finale of a three-game series.
It was the first time in three weeks that the Tigers won a game started by Brad Penny. Of course, they didn’t catch fire with a barrage of base hits until an inning after the righty had left the game.
And several hours after Sparky Anderson’s No. 11 jersey was retired in a pre- game ceremony.
Brandon Inge hit a two-run single while Victor Martinez and Jhonny Peralta had RBI base hits in the seven-run eighth, which matched Detroit’s highest-scoring inning of the season.
“We hit some good and some not so good, but wherever we hit them they found the gap,” said Detroit manager Jim Leyland.
Earlier, Peralta belted a solo homer in the second inning for the Tigers, who captured the last two games of this three-game interleague series to start their 10-game homestand off on a positive note.
The Diamondbacks scored two runs in the seventh to take the lead and knock Penny out of the game, then added another run in the ninth. But they lost the final two games of a six-game road trip that had started promisingly with four consecutive wins against the Royals and Tigers.
Detroit erupted against the Arizona bullpen after starter Joe Saunders had given up just one run and four hits in seven innings.
Aaron Heilman had two outs and runners at first and second base before he was relieved by David Hernandez. Magglio Ordonez walked to load the bases and Cabrera hit a 2-1 fastball into left to make it 3-2.
It was the first of five straight singles by the Tigers. The final run scored when third baseman Ryan Roberts let a Don Kelly grounder go under his glove for an error.
Heilman (4-1) took the loss, while Hernandez and Bryan Shaw also gave up runs in the inning. Al Alburquerque (5-1) earned the win, pitching 1 1/3 scoreless innings in relief of Penny.
Before the game, the Tigers retired Anderson’s jersey in front of former Tiger greats — and current Diamondbacks coaches — Kirk Gibson and Alan Trammell.
The late manager, who won 1,331 games with the Tigers and guided them to their last World Series title in 1984, was the first Tigers manager to have his number retired.
Peralta homered at the end of an eight-pitch at-bat to lead off the second inning, giving Detroit a 1-0 lead. He worked a full count, the fouled off a couple pitches before knocking a changeup over the wall in left field for his 12th homer of the season and first in seven games.
The Diamondbacks scratched out a pair of runs in the seventh inning to take a 2-1 lead and knock Penny out of the game.
After giving up just four singles though six innings, Penny surrendered a leadoff double to Chris Young, who then scored ahead of the throw when Miguel Montero looped a single into right-center field.
Penny got two straight outs before Gerardo Parra and Roberts hit back-to-back singles to score Montero, giving Arizona a 2-1 lead and chasing Penny for Alburquerque.
Penny allowed eight hits and a walk while striking out two in his 6 2/3 innings. The Tigers had been 0-3 in his last three starts.
Anderson retired in 1995 and was inducted into the Hall of Fame five years later. He died November 4, 2010 at 76 years old…Saunders entered the game with a 4-2 record in his previous six starts after beginning the season 0-5…The Diamondbacks out-hit the Tigers 12-10.