Detroit, MI – Tigers starter Doug Fister returned from the disabled list to toss six scoreless innings and beat the Rockies, 4-1, evening a three-game series.
Fister (1-3), who had not pitched since May 28 due to a side strain, held Colorado to three hits and a walk. He also struck out six.
"This is definitely a step in the right direction," Fister said. "I felt no pain, no discomfort today, so it was a good day overall. I executed some pitches when I needed to and [Tigers catcher] Gerald [Laird] did a tremendous job back there today. We worked well together, we communicated, and we just let the defense do the work."
"He mixed it up," Rockies outfielders Dexter Fowler said. "A lot of us haven't seen him before, so we were a little off-balance."
Miguel Cabrera picked up two hits, including his 14th home run, for the Tigers, who have won three of their last four games.
Christian Friedrich (4-3) allowed three runs -- two earned -- in five innings in his first career road loss. He struggled mightily with his control, walking five, including Austin Jackson with the bases loaded, and hitting a batter.
"The walks just are unacceptable," Friedrich said. "That's me just being a little too tentative and feeling like I have to throw a strike instead of just letting me body take care of everything else."
Cabrera spotted the Tigers a 1-0 lead when he drove an 0-1 fastball over the right-field fence in the first inning.
"[Cabrera's] got incredible power," Rockies manager Jim Tracy said. "He's got power to right-center field like a left-handed pull hitter. He's a really, really good offensive player."
The Tigers added another run in the fourth by capitalizing on Friedrich's control problems. Jhonny Peralta drew a one-out walk, Ryan Raburn delivered a base hit and Friedrich drilled Ramon Santiago to load the bases. He then proceeded to walk Jackson to force in a run.
Friedrich's accuracy was also an issue in the field. Cabrera led off the fifth inning with a tapper back to Friedrich, which deflected off his glove. In a rushed attempt to throw out Cabrera, he threw the ball away. Wilin Rosario then made a poor throw attempting to gun down Cabrera at third base, and the Tigers' slugger came around to score.
The Tigers took advantage of another walk, one of the seven issued by the Rockies' pitching staff on the day, to score their fourth run. Jackson took a free pass to start the seventh, then advanced to third on a base knock by Cabrera. He scored on Prince Fielder's sacrifice fly.
Phil Coke pitched two scoreless innings in relief of Fister before Joaquin Benoit took over in the ninth. Benoit gave up a leadoff double to Carlos Gonzalez, who came around to score, but closed out the win.
Prior to the game, the Tigers activated Fister from the disabled list and recalled pitcher Thad Weber from Triple-A Toledo. The team also optioned pitcher Casey Crosby and outfielder Matt young to Toledo...The Tigers are 72-41 in interleague games at Comerica Park...The Tigers are 77-42 in interleague play since the start of the 2006 season...Fister has posted a quality start in 13 of his 17 starts with the Tigers...Fister has a 1.80 earned run average (seven earned runs in 35 innings) in interleague play...Fister is 5-1 with a 1.21 ERA (seven earned runs in 52 1/3 innings) at Comerica Park since August 3, 2011...The Rockies are 1-10 in interleague play.