Tigers' Lobstein tops Giants 6-1 for first win
DETROIT (AP) When the Detroit Tigers put together a star-studded starting rotation for the pennant drive, Kyle Lobstein wasn't supposed to be part of the group.
Now, he might be their hottest pitcher.
Lobstein earned up his first major league victory Sunday night, allowing one run in 5 2-3 innings in the Tigers 6-1 win over the San Francisco Giants.
The 25-year-old Lobstein, who made his major league debut in long relief on Aug. 23, has a 2.11 ERA in three starts since moving into Anibal Sanchez's rotation spot five days later. The Tigers have won all three games.
''I'm pretty excited,'' Lobstein said after receiving a beer shower from teammates. ''It's my first major league win, and we avoided the sweep, which makes it even better. We definitely needed a game like this.''
Under general manager Dave Dombrowski, Detroit's philosophy has favored pitchers who throw hard, but Lobstein doesn't fit that mold.
''This isn't a guy who is going to overpower you, but there are guys in this league who throw 82 and beat teams,'' catcher Alex Avila said. ''He's got a lot of deception, he has a lot of movement and he's got four pitches that he can throw for strikes.
''When you can mix things up like that ... even a 90-mph fastball looks like 94.''
The win was Detroit's second over the Giants in 10 games, including San Francisco's sweep of the 2012 World Series.
''This was a big win for us, because we didn't want to face the Royals (Monday) having lost three in a row,'' Tigers manager Brad Ausmus said. ''This puts us in a better mood going into what is, at least until now, the biggest series of the season.''
Four relievers finished, with Phil Coke pitching the ninth.
Miguel Cabrera homered for the third time in two days and Torii Hunter, getting a rare chance to face a starting pitcher older than he is, had three hits against Tim Hudson (9-10). Hudson, pitching in Detroit for the first time in 11 years, gave up three runs and eight hits in six innings.
Hudson and LaTroy Hawkins are the only active pitchers with a victory at Tiger Stadium, which closed in 1999.
''I felt all right, and I made some good pitches,'' Hudson said. ''The one big mistake I made was to Miggy. He's starting to catch lightning a little bit, and when you hang a pitch like that to him, he's going to hit it out.''
The Tigers took the lead on Hunter's RBI single in the third, and Cabrera followed with a long homer to left-center field.
The Giants finally got to Lobstein when Angel Pagan's infield single scored Gregor Blanco with two outs in the fifth. They threatened again in the seventh, putting runners on the corners with one out, but Blaine Hardy retired Pagan and Joe Panik.
''We needed a timely hit there to get back into the game,'' Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. ''That's what we've been getting the last few games, but not that time.''
Ian Kinsler's RBI double off George Kontos made it 4-1 in the seventh, and Cabrera drove in Kinsler with two outs to give him 11 straight seasons with 100 RBIs. Victor Martinez put the game away with a double into the right-center field gap that scored the hobbled Cabrera from first.
Cabrera aggravated his sore ankle, and Don Kelly played first base for the final two innings. Rajai Davis replaced Kelly in center.
''He said it was feeling better before the game, but running all the way from first was a problem,'' Ausmus said. ''We'll see in the morning, but I'd say there is a very good chance he'll be the DH.''
Tigers: Reports surfaced Sunday that Cabrera will need offseason surgery for a bone spur in his right ankle, but Ausmus said that a decision on treatment won't be made until after the season.
''I don't know where that came from, because we don't know what is going to happen,'' he said. ''The consensus is that there's one spur causing the aggravation.''
The Tigers might get RP Joakim Soria back as soon as Wednesday. Soria, who has been out since Aug. 10 because of an abdominal strain, is scheduled to pitch live batting practice on Monday. He will return to the active roster, barring any setbacks.
Giants: 1B Brandon Belt (concussion) could resume baseball activities on Monday, but Bochy hasn't put a timeline on his return to the lineup. OF Michael Morse (strained oblique) is day-to-day after he was given a cortisone shot on Friday.
Tigers: Justin Verlander (12-12) will face Kansas City's Jeremy Guthrie (10-10) Monday afternoon in the opener of the three-game series between the top two teams in the AL Central. The game was moved from 7:08 p.m. to 4:08 p.m. because the Lions are playing the New York Giants next door at Ford Field at 7:10.
Giants: After an off day on Monday, the team will return home for a three-game series with the Diamondbacks. Arizona's Wade Miley (7-10) is scheduled to start against Yusmeiro Petit (4-3) on Tuesday.
ALMOST THREE FOR THE PRICE OF ONE
The Tigers nearly ended the game with a triple play when Pagan hit a hard grounder to 3B Nick Castellanos, who was playing on the line. Castellanos stepped on third, and seeing that Pagan wasn't sprinting down the line, fired to second, but Kinsler wasn't expecting the throw and never got off a relay to first. Panik then grounded out to end the game.
STILL LOOKING FOR A SWEEP
The Giants failed to pull off their first three-game road sweep of an AL team since interleague play began in 1997. San Francisco hasn't won three straight games in AL since topping Minnesota and Detroit in 2005.