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Associated Press
Detroit’s Jhonny Peralta jumps over Oakland’s Cliff Pennington in the fourth inning Tuesday.

Tigers power along after losing pitcher

– Miguel Cabrera is making a late push for the Triple Crown – and if he keeps swinging like this, the Detroit Tigers could still have a shot in the AL Central.

Cabrera homered twice, including a grand slam in the eighth inning, and the Tigers routed the Oakland Athletics 12-2 on Tuesday night. Detroit lost right-hander Max Scherzer after only two innings to fatigue in his throwing shoulder, but an MRI revealed no structural damage.

The Chicago White Sox beat Kansas City to remain three games ahead of Detroit atop the division, taking something away from Cabrera’s big night.

“Our job is to win games. There’s no talk about personal numbers,” Cabrera said. “Hopefully we can get a good winning streak.”

Cabrera now leads the American League with a .333 average and 129 RBI. He also has a career-high 40 homers – two behind Josh Hamilton for the top spot.

The last Triple Crown winner was Carl Yastrzemski in 1967.

“That’s a hard thing to do. You’ve got to be lucky,” Cabrera said. “Hopefully we get lucky in our division and win more games.”

Prince Fielder and Jhonny Peralta added home runs for the Tigers. Darin Downs (2-1) pitched 2 2/3 scoreless innings for the win in relief of Scherzer.

Oakland rookie A.J. Griffin (6-1) lost for the first time in his career.

Scherzer entered the game with a major league-leading 220 strikeouts and added four more to that total before leaving after only two innings.

He’s expected to go a couple days without throwing, then be evaluated again.

“I didn’t have any pain in my shoulder – it was just like my arm was dead,” Scherzer said. “MRI came back negative. All the structural – it’s all good.”

Peralta gave the Tigers a 2-1 lead in the second with his 12th homer of the year, and Cabrera hit a solo shot of his own the following inning.

Fielder’s 27th homer of the year – a two-run shot in the fifth – made it 5-1.

Austin Jackson hit an RBI double in the sixth for Detroit, and Quintin Berry added a two-run double to make it 8-1.

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