The Detroit Tigers preseason question marks have been well documented. At least one of them is coming into focus.
Tigers first baseman Miguel Cabrera homered for the second time in three days, and catcher Alex Avila’s solo bomb helped Detroit defeat St. Louis, 4-3, on Saturday in Lakeland.
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Cabrera hit his home run with one out in the bottom of the first off Cardinals starter Lance Lynn. Second baseman Ian Kinsler singled and scored on the homer after center fielder Anthony Gose grounded out to begin the inning.
The first baseman finished 1-for-3 with the home run, two RBI and run scored on Saturday. Cabrera also hit a home run in Detroit’s victory over the Orioles on Thursday. He is hitting .385 with two home runs and five RBI in 13 at-bats this March.
That kind of start to Cabrera’s season would suggest he is certainly on his way to being ready for Opening Day.
Avila joined Cabrera, hitting his second home run of the spring to tie the game at three in the seventh. Avila was 1-for-3 with the solo homer.
St. Louis grabbed the lead with a two-out rally in the third inning. Tigers starter Shane Greene walked Cardinals center fielder Jon Jay and second baseman Kolten Wong to begin the rally then outfielder Randal Grichuk’s single scored Jay for the Cardinals first run.
Wong and Grichuk then scored on Gose’s error during the next at-bat as St. Louis took a, 3-2, lead into the bottom of the third.
Despite the three runs, two of which were unearned, Greene pitched well, going five innings, allowing three hits, striking out six and walking three.
After Detroit reliever Ian Krol pitched a near perfect eighth inning, the Tigers reclaimed the lead on first baseman Jordan Lennerton’s double down the right field line. Kinsler, who reached on a single, scored on the play.
Krol received the victory, which is his first decision this spring. He allowed one base runner on a walk in his one inning of work, striking out two.
Kinsler went 2-for-4 and scored two of the Tigers four runs. Right fielder J.D. Martinez was the only other Detroit hitter with two hits, and he also reached on a walk.