DETROIT (AP) - Vance Worley was beside himself after his latest rough outing.
The Minnesota Twins right-hander actually felt good on the mound. The problem was that he was facing Miguel Cabrera, Prince Fielder and that potent Detroit lineup.
``I made good pitches. They just crushed them,' Worley said. ``I made the exact pitch that I wanted to Cabrera. I even went back and watched the video. That pitch is a popup, and he drove it out of the park the other way. There's nothing you can do about that.'
Cabrera and Fielder each hit a two-run homer, Justin Verlander pitched seven strong innings and the Tigers beat Minnesota 6-1 Tuesday night for their fifth straight victory.
Worley gave up six runs and 10 hits in 4 2-3 innings. Verlander (3-2) allowed a run and five hits. He struck out eight and walked two.
Worley (0-4) was acquired by the Twins in an offseason trade with Philadelphia and started Minnesota's season opener, but Tuesday's struggles raised his ERA to 7.22.
Cabrera opened the scoring with his fourth homer of the year, and Fielder's seventh was part of a three-run fifth. Alex Avila also went deep for Detroit.
Tigers pitchers struck out 10, reaching that mark for the fifth straight game. That equals the longest streak by an American League team since at least 1921. The major league record since then is eight games by the Milwaukee Brewers last August, according to STATS.
``Since I've been here, our staff has always been a strikeout staff,' said Avila, Detroit's catcher. ``Being able to throw everything for strikes and being able to set up pitches is a big deal.'
Cabrera's second opposite-field homer in three nights put Detroit ahead 2-0.
Wilkin Ramirez hit an RBI double for Minnesota in the second, but Avila answered in the bottom half. The Detroit catcher entered the game hitting .176, but sliced a drive over the fence in left-center to make it 3-1.
Worley appeared to be in decent shape until the fifth, when Torii Hunter hit an RBI groundout to make it 4-1. Fielder followed one out later with a line drive that cleared the wall in right in a hurry.
``Worley just couldn't command the strike zone, and when he did get pitches on the plate, those two big guys put them in the seats,' Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. ``That's their team - they've got big power and a great rotation.'
Verlander left his previous start against Kansas City after seven innings with a blister on his pitching thumb, but the injury wasn't expected to be too serious. He didn't seem bothered Tuesday, throwing 114 pitches.
``That's a tough night for us,' Gardenhire said. ``Verlander might not have had his best stuff, but being the pitcher he is, he made it work. We battled him, but when that guy needs to make a pitch, he gets nasty, and that's what he did tonight.'
Drew Smyly took over in the eighth and struck out one hitter. Al Alburquerque came on in the ninth but walked two, prompting manager Jim Leyland to bring in Joaquin Benoit for the final two outs in what was still a non-save situation. Benoit fanned pinch-hitter Ryan Doumit for the second out of the ninth and Detroit's 10th strikeout of the game.
NOTES: Minnesota star Joe Mauer snapped an 0-for-21 skid with a third-inning single. ... Arkansas Gov. Mike Beebe, a big Tigers fan, threw out a ceremonial first pitch. He spent some time before the game commiserating with Hunter and Smyly, who are both from Arkansas. ... The Tigers try for a three-game sweep Wednesday. Detroit's Anibal Sanchez (3-1) takes the mound against Scott Diamond (1-2).
The Associated Press News Service
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