Miguel Cabrera haunted his old team for a three-run homer as part of a seven-run fifth inning, lifting the Tigers out of their three-game losing streak with a 7-5 win over the Marlins on Tuesday night at Comerica Park.
Detroit entered the fifth with a 3-0 deficit and more errors (three) than hits (two) against Miami starter Adam Conley (4-5), who struck out nine of the Tigers' first 16 batters, but gave up five consecutive baserunners from there to end his outing. Jose Iglesias' two-run homer put Detroit on the scoreboard before Ian Kinsler's double and Cameron Maybin's walk set up Cabrera for his 17th home run of the season. Nick Castellanos added a two-run homer off Nick Wittgren.
"It just shows how fast this game can snowball on you," Conley said. "I got away from my strengths. I feel like I should have thrown a lot more fastballs at that point in the game. It was almost like I was picking at the zone with offspeed stuff, like I was trying to trick them or something. That's not my game. I'm not here to trick anybody."
The rally earned Mike Pelfrey (2-7) his first win since June 4. He tied a season high with 12 hits allowed, but limited the damage to four runs, escaping a bases-loaded, no-out jam in the second inning after Giancarlo Stanton lined a two-run homer into the center-field shrubs.
"It could've been a lot worse tonight," Pelfrey said. "I guess it could've been better, too, but we won. I think that's the most important thing."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED Cabrera finally feasts on Fish: Cabrera had homered off every Major League team in his career, except his original one. He finally got the Marlins on Tuesday, just as Conley seemed to have him flummoxed. A pitch away from his first three-strikeout game since Max Scherzer's gem last month at Washington, Cabrera worked a 1-2 count full before pouncing on an elevated changeup for a three-run homer.
"I think it's bigger that we got the lead that inning with the home run," Cabrera said. "It was more special because of that. We win the game."
Quick turn for Conley: From dominant to out after 4 1/3 innings, things escalated quickly for the Marlins' lefty, who struck out six of the first seven he faced to start the game. But a couple of walks in the fifth inning led to his undoing in what was shaping up as an impressive outing. The Tigers broke through in the fifth after Conley fanned James McCann to open the frame. But a walk to Mike Aviles started a stretch of seven straight Tigers reaching, with five against Conley. The lefty's line was a head-scratching 4 1/3 innings, five hits, five runs, three walks and nine strikeouts.
"As good as my stuff was at the start of the game, I feel like that stuff diminished when I got away from throwing good extension fastballs," Conley said. "That's basically what I build everything I throw off of. When I went away from that, and wasn't as consistent in the zone with my secondary stuff, those guys are pros. They beat me."
Pelfrey pulls out of predicament: Pelfrey had the bases loaded and nobody out in the second, allowing three straight singles after Stanton's homer -- one of them an infield grounder after Cabrera ranged toward second base with nobody to cover first. Cabrera helped Pelfrey out of the jam with two plays, starting a home-to-first double play on anAdeiny Hechavarria grounder before fielding an Ichiro Suzuki short hop and getting to the bag to end the threat.
"That was the turning point, I think," Tigers manager Brad Ausmus said. "If we don't get that double play right there and they get a hit or get a run, I think it's a completely different game."
Stanton snapping out: Stanton continues to show signs that he is getting back on track. The slugger crushed a two-run homer in the second inning, and he added an RBI single. Stanton's blast to center was projected by Statcast™ at 442 feet with an exit velocity of 115 mph and a launch angle of 17 degrees. Stanton had three hits on the day, with his RBI single coming against a drawn-in infield in the fifth inning. At the time, it put Miami ahead by three runs.
"It's nice to see him get going again," Miami manager Don Mattingly said. "Obviously, he's been swinging better for a while.
QUOTABLE "What kind of hitter is Miguel? Obviously, he's one of the best right-handed hitters that I've ever seen. He's extremely dangerous. The thing they've got going over there is you've got Victor [Martinez] right behind him." -- Mattingly, on the Tigers' three-four punch
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS Conley fanned nine, matching his career high (done three times). But the lefty had little to show for it because of Detroit's seven-run fifth inning. The Marlins' record for strikeouts in a loss came earlier this season, against the Tigers. Jose Fernandez fanned 13 Tigers on April 6 at Marlins Park, but he suffered the lone loss of his career at home.
Cabrera became the 12th active player, and the 50th overall, to homer against all 30 Major League teams in his career.
CLOSING IN ON 3,000 Ichiro moved closer to the 3,000-hit milestone, and in the process, climbed into 30th place on MLB's all-time hits list. With two singles on Tuesday, Ichiro now has 2,986, passing Sam Rice (2,985), according to Elias, the Official Statistician of Major League Baseball.
WHAT'S NEXT Marlins: The two-game Interleague series wraps up on Wednesday at 1:10 p.m. ET at Comerica Park. Tom Koehler (6-6, 4.07 ERA) will make his 16th start. Koehler has faced Detroit once in his career, in 2013, when he picked up a win at Marlins Park.
Tigers:Daniel Norris (0-0, 4.50) makes his second start of the season for Detroit in Wednesday's series finale against the Marlins. He allowed three runs on six hits over five innings last Thursday against the Mariners, striking out five in a no-decision.