Detroit Tigers' Miguel Cabrera steals base in 7-5 win over Royals to snap four-game skid

Detroit Tigers' Miguel Cabrera steals base in 7-5 win over Royals to snap four-game skid

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Miguel Cabrera, a 39-year-old designated hitter, sprinted as fast as he could toward third base while Kansas City Royals right-handed reliever Jose Cuas delivered a pitch outside the strike zone.

Cabrera stole third base.

Catcher MJ Melendez’s throw to the hot corner ended up in left field, gifting Cabrera with a stolen base.  After seeing the ball rolling in the outfield, the 20-year MLB veteran took off for home and easily scored in the Detroit Tigers‘ four-run seventh inning.

The Tigers cruised past the Royals with a 7-5 victory Tuesday at Kauffman Stadium to snap a four-game losing streak.

In the four-run seventh, the Royals were charged with three of their four errors. Meanwhile, the Tigers (37-51) played clean baseball and fended off a late rally from their American League Central opponent.

Tigers designated hitter Miguel Cabrera is congratulated by teammates in the dugout after scoring during the seventh inning on Tuesday, July 12, 2022, in Kansas City, Missouri.

A comeback attempt occurred in the eighth inning, as the Royals cut the deficit to two runs against right-handed reliever Joe Jiménez, but righty Michael Fulmer entered with one out and slammed the door despite iffy command.

Left-handed closer Gregory Soto — the Tigers’ All-Star representative alongside Cabrera — notched his 18th save in 20 chances. He threw a scoreless ninth inning with one strikeout.

Before Cabrera’s steal-and-score for a 5-3 advantage, the Tigers broke a three-all tie with Javier Báez double to kickstart the seventh inning. He scored on Bobby Witt Jr.’s fielding error, which let the speedy Cabrera reach safely.

A wild pitch from Cuas advanced Cabrera to second base, then the future Hall of Famer turned on the jets. He stole a base for the first time since the 2020 season and has two stolen bases in 725 games from 2016-22.

Jonathan Schoop ended Cuas’ outing by following Willi Castro’s walk (and stolen base) with an RBI double to for a 6-3 lead.

The Tigers tacked on their seventh run with Spencer Torkelson’s RBI single off righty Joel Payamps, who later made a throwing error before escaping the inning without further damage.

Detroit finished 3-for-12 with runners in scoring position but recorded 11 hits and three walks.

That’s Brieske, baby

Right-hander Beau Brieske, making his 15th MLB start, finished better than he started against the Royals.

The 24-year-old retired 14 of the final 16 batters he faced after giving up back-to-back RBI doubles in the second inning. During the 16-batter stretch, Brieske allowed a single to Kyle Isbel in the fourth and walked Hunter Dozier in the sixth.

On Isbel’s single, the ball went underneath Báez’s glove and traveled into center field. The next batter, Emmanuel Rivera, grounded into an inning-ending double play that was started by Castro, the third baseman.

Tigers pitcher Beau Brieske pitches during the first inning of the game against the Royals on Tuesday, July 12, 2022, in Kansas City, Missouri.

Tigers pitcher Beau Brieske pitches during the first inning of the game against the Royals on Tuesday, July 12, 2022, in Kansas City, Missouri.

Brieske allowed three runs on five hits and one walk with four strikeouts in six innings, firing 51 of 79 pitches for strikes while recording seven swings and misses and nine called strikes. His six quality starts are tied with Joe Ryan (Minnesota Twins) and George Kirby (Seattle Mariners) for the lead among MLB rookies.

The Royals scored one run against him in the first inning and two more in the second. On Brieske’s first pitch of the game, a four-seam fastball, Melendez ripped the ball to the right-center gap with a 106.7 mph exit velocity for a leadoff triple.

An ensuing one-out single from Andrew Benintendi put the Royals up 1-0. The Royals plated their next two runs, making it 3-2, on back-to-back doubles from Isbel and Rivera in the second inning, after Edward Olivares walked to first base due to a hit-by-pitch.

Brieske needed 16 pitches in the first inning, 16 in the second, 11 in the third, five in the fourth, 11 in the fifth and 20 in the sixth. He put zeros on the scoreboard in the third, fourth, fifth and sixth innings.

For his 79 pitches, Brieske used 26 four-seam fastballs (33%), 24 changeups (30%), 18 sliders (23%), 10 two-seam fastballs (13%) and one curveball (1%). The Royals averaged a 90.9 mph exit velocity against him.

Constant pressure from offense

The Tigers forced Royals left-hander Kris Bubic to throw 25 pitches in the first inning, and despite loading the bases against him, they failed to score as Castro popped out for the third out.

In the second, the Tigers made the most of their opportunity.

Three straight singles — Schoop, Torkelson and Akil Baddoo — helped produce the team’s first run, with Schoop’s single increasing his hitting streak to 10 games.

Baddoo, in his first at-bat since returning from Triple-A Toledo, drove in Schoop for a 1-1 tie with a single to right field on a full-count fastball. He fell behind 1-2 in the count but avoided chasing a pair of down-and-away pitches.

The RBI single earned Baddoo non-verbal praise from manager A.J. Hinch, who pointed at the 23-year-old from the dugout. After the third single, Riley Greene grounded into a double play, which was enough to score Torkelson from third base and put the Tigers ahead 2-1.

Tigers shortstop Javier Baez dives safely to third from second on a sacrifice fly by right fielder Robbie Grossman during the fifth inning on Tuesday, July 12, 2022, in Kansas City, Missouri.

Tigers shortstop Javier Baez dives safely to third from second on a sacrifice fly by right fielder Robbie Grossman during the fifth inning on Tuesday, July 12, 2022, in Kansas City, Missouri.

The Tigers manufactured their third run in the fifth inning, tying the game at three runs apiece. Báez opened the frame with a double, and Robbie Grossman advanced him to third base with a flyout to right field.

Báez scored on Cabrera’s sacrifice fly.

Bubic allowed three runs on eight hits and two walks with five strikeouts in 5⅔ innings, throwing 69 of 99 pitches for strikes.

Contact Evan Petzold at epetzold@freepress.com or follow him on Twitter @EvanPetzold. Read more on the Detroit Tigers and sign up for our Tigers newsletter.

This article originally appeared on Detroit Free Press: Miguel Cabrera leads Detroit Tigers to 7-5 win over Royals

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