DETROIT – Miguel Cabrera and Max Scherzer have been so spectacularly successful this season they’re earning the right to be mentioned in the same breath with some of baseball’s greats.
Cabrera hit his 40th home run and had an RBI single to help Scherzer become baseball’s first 18-game winner as the Tigers beat the Kansas City Royals 6-3 Sunday to win the five-game series.
Both of them are on a roll that you don’t see very often, Detroit manager Jim Leyland said. Tigers fans could go years without ever seeing something like that again.
Cabrera became the third player since 1921 to have at least 40 homers and 120 RBI while batting .350 or better through 116 games, joining Babe Ruth and Jimmie Foxx, according to STATS.
That’s nice, Cabrera said with a touch of awe as he looked at a list of the impressive company he joined.
Scherzer (18-1) gave up two runs on five hits over eight innings. Scherzer and Roger Clemens are the pitchers since 1919 to have 18 wins in their first 19 decisions as starters, STATS said. Clemens did it with the New York Yankees in 2001, when he finished 20-3.
It’s great because I respect what he was able to do throughout his career and in that season, Scherzer said. But the win-loss record is a little fluky. Every time I go out, the guys are putting up runs for me and are playing great defense, so I can’t take credit for being 18-1.
Cabrera, the reigning Triple Crown winner, leads the majors in batting (.360) and RBI (120). Cabrera’s 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.
We don’t worry about him, Cabrera said. We focus on what we can do here in Detroit.
The third-place Royals lost three of five this weekend and left Comerica Park, trailing the AL Central-leading Tigers by 8 1/2 games.