DETROIT — The Kansas City Royals gave themselves a chance to cut into Detroit’s lead in the AL Central with an impressive, doubleheader sweep in which they held the Tigers to only one run.
Kansas City, though, couldn’t prevent Miguel Cabrera from lifting the Tigers to two straight wins to take the five-game series.
Cabrera hit his 40th home run, a day after leading off the ninth with a game-winning homer, and had an RBI single to help Max Scherzer become baseball’s first 18-game winner this season as Detroit beat the Royals 6-3 Sunday.
“We had a chance to win the series,” Kansas City manager Ned Yost lamented after his team beat Detroit by a combined score of 5-1 in two games Friday night.
The Royals tried to pitch around Cabrera, but he hit pitches inside and outside off the plate.
Cabrera became the third player since 1921 to have at least 40 homers and 120 RBIs while batting .350 or better through 116 games, joining Babe Ruth and Jimmie Foxx, according to STATS.
Yost said before the game that intentionally walking Cabrera wasn’t a good option because Prince Fielder and Victor Martinez hit behind him.
After Cabrera hit a two-run homer in the first inning and a run-scoring single in the third, Yost chose to give Cabrera a free pass in the fifth inning with a runner on third and Fielder followed with an inning-ending groundout. Cabrera has eight homers in 13 games.
“I’d like to pitch around him,” Yost said. “You don’t want to throw a strike that he can hit. We threw him a strike. That’s my fault.”
The reigning Triple Crown winner leads the majors in batting (.360) and RBIs (120). His home run pulled him within four of Baltimore’s Chris Davis for the big league lead, then Davis hit his 45th later in the day.