Torii Hunter came up one measly single shy of history.
It’s about the only thing the All-Star-studded Detroit Tigers haven’t accomplished during two days of dominance inside Progressive Field.
Hunter drove in three runs and fell a single short of hitting for the cycle, and Miguel Cabrera cracked a two-run homer as the Tigers overpowered the Cleveland Indians again, 9-4 on Saturday for their fifth straight win.
Hunter hit a two-run homer, tripled and doubled as the Tigers won their seventh consecutive game over the Indians and pushed their lead in the AL Central to 31/2 games.
Needing just a routine base hit in the eighth inning, Hunter grounded out weakly to reliever Vinnie Pestano.
“I tried to bloop it, but it just didn’t work out,” said Hunter, who would have already had his cycle but was robbed by outfielder Michael Bourn’s diving catch in the third. “That was my single. He ruined it for me. I’ll have to talk to him tomorrow.”
Detroit improved to 8-2 against Cleveland this season, and the Tigers have won 11 of the last 14 games in what has been a lopsided rivalry.
The Indians came into the four-game series hoping to cut into Detroit’s lead. Instead, the Tigers have opened some distance and are threatening to widen the gap.
“We’ll show up tomorrow,” Indians manager Terry Francona promised. “We certainly need to do better against them.”
The Tigers have out-scored the Indians 16-4 in the first two games of the series and Detroit still has Doug Fister (6-5) and Max Scherzer (13-0) scheduled to pitch.
The Indians will be represented at the All-Star Game on July 16 by pitcher Justin Masterson and second baseman Justin Kipnis, who had his hitting streak stopped at 16 games.