(SportsNetwork.com) - Miguel Cabrera takes aim at a milestone home run on Friday night when the Detroit Tigers kick off a three-game set with the St. Louis Cardinals.
Cabrera homered twice to pace a 13-1 rout of the Minnesota Twins on Thursday, giving him 398 for his career. That leaves him one shy of matching Andres Galarraga for the most ever by a Venezuelan-born player.
"I know it's going to be big in Venezuela," Cabrera told Detroit's official website. "Everybody is going to feel proud of that. There's going to be a lot of excitement over there. But I have to stay focused on what I can do right here."
Cabrera ended with three hits and five RBI in Thursday's victory that came in the rubber match of a three-game set and has Detroit one game back of Kansas City for first place in the AL Central. Anthony Gose had four hits and Bryan Holaday drove in three runs while finishing a triple shy of the cycle in his first start of the season.
Overall, eight of nine Detroit starters ended with at least one hit and seven of the nine drove in at least one run. The Tigers set seasons highs for runs scored and hits (20) in a game.
"Overall, from top to bottom we were pretty locked in at the plate," said Nick Castellanos, who homered as well.
Victor Martinez did not play on Thursday and is expected to sit this series as well with the Tigers not having the option of a designated hitter while playing in St. Louis. Martinez is getting some rest after having left knee surgery in February.
Shane Greene looks to build off an encouraging outing when he starts this evening for the Tigers.
Greene had struggled during a recent three-start span, going 0-2 while giving up 20 runs over 11 innings before a solid outing against Kansas City on Sunday. Though he did not factor into a 2-1 loss, the righty allowed only one run and four hits over eight frames. He struck out three and did not walk a batter in his longest outing since also going eight frames on April 14.
Greene is 3-2 and lowered his earned run average from 5.56 to 4.71. He will face the Cardinals for the first time.
St. Louis will look to win a second game in a row tonight after picking up a 2-1 win on Thursday over the Cleveland Indians. Matt Carpenter was the hero with a two-run homer in the eighth inning.
Mark Reynolds, Kolten Wong and Yadier Molina each collected two hits for the Cardinals, while Peter Bourjos walked ahead of the game-deciding homer.
Kevin Siegrist tossed two scoreless innings of relief to earn the win, while Trevor Rosenthal struck out three in the ninth to earn his 12th save for a Cardinals club that had lost three of four coming in.
Carlos Martinez has struggled over his past two starts and hopes to rebound tonight when he faces the Tigers for the first time.
The 23-year-old went 3-0 over his first four starts of the season with an ERA under two, but has seen that number balloon to 4.89 this month. Martinez allowed seven runs over 3 2/3 innings of a no-decision against the Chicago Cubs on May 4, then got blitzed for seven runs over 5 1/3 innings of a loss at Pittsburgh on Saturday.
"He had a lot of positives to build on today," Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said following the loss to the Pirates. "I think we saw some things in his mechanics, but those are hard to fix in the middle of a game."
Martinez walked four batters in each game and allowed a total of 16 hits while striking out 11.
The Tigers are 19-10 versus the Cardinals all-time, but did lose in five games to St. Louis in the 2006 World Series.