OAKLAND, Calif. — Miguel Cabrera broke out of a slump with two RBI hits in Detroit’s eight-run third inning and the Tigers went on to beat the Oakland Athletics 10-6 on Thursday night.
Cabrera, who came into the game hitless in his previous 14 at-bats, finished with four hits, including an RBI double and a run-scoring single in the big third inning. Cabrera also had an RBI single in the fifth.
Alex Avila added a two-run double in the third and Delmon Young, Brennan Boesch and Ramon Santiago also had run-scoring hits in the inning as the Tigers knocked out Bartolo Colon (3-3) early in their highest-scoring game since putting up 13 runs against Boston in the third game of the season.
Max Scherzer (2-3) was the beneficiary of the big night from the struggling Tigers batters, allowing two runs and five hits with nine strikeouts in 6 1-3 innings to end a three-start winless streak.
Cabrera was one of four players who came out for early batting practice for the Tigers, who had been held to three runs or fewer in four of the past five games. Manager Jim Leyland said he thought Cabrera had found a flaw in his swing — he was holding his hands too high — and he was confident the slugger would find his stroke soon.
“Miguel Cabrera is going to hit,” Leyland said before the game. “Mark it down. Look at the book. Take it to the bank.”
Cabrera proved his manager right, delivering his first four-hit game since May 30, 2010, against Oakland, raising his average from .263 to .285.
The one bright spot for Oakland came in the eighth inning when former Tiger Brandon Inge hit his second grand slam of the week off Colin Balester. Inge, who came up with Detroit in 2001, was released by the Tigers last month and signed with the A’s. Inge joined Jimmie Foxx (1932) as the only A’s players to hit two slams in a three-game span.
It wasn’t enough for Oakland because of Detroit’s big third inning. Austin Jackson and Andy Dirks started it with singles and Cabrera followed with an RBI double to right field. Prince Fielder then reached on an error by first baseman Kila Ka’aihue as another run scored. Young hit an RBI single and Avila’s two-run double made it 6-2.
Colon got his first out of the inning when Ryan Raburn flied out but Boesch followed with an RBI double that chased Colon. Santiago greeted Jordan Norberto with an RBI single and Cabrera capped the outburst with his RBI single.
Colon allowed eight runs — seven earned — and nine hits in 2 1-3 innings as his problems against the Tigers continued. Colon is 0-7 in his last 12 starts against Detroit with a 7.67 ERA.
The teams traded home runs in the first two innings, with Dirks hitting a solo shot in the first for Detroit and Ka’aihue answering with a two-run drive for Oakland in the second.
NOTES: Colon last beat the Tigers on April 13, 2003, when he was with the Chicago White Sox. ... Oakland RHP Brandon McCarthy, who missed Tuesday’s start with a sore shoulder, said he had no concerns after a bullpen session and is on target to start Saturday. ... A’s manager Bob Geren said he was encouraged by how OF Yoenis Cespedes (left hand) felt after hitting off a tee and taking soft toss and that Cespedes could be back in the lineup as soon as Friday. ... Tommy Milone (4-2) will take the mound Friday for Oakland against Detroit’s Rick Porcello (3-2).