Detroit, MI – Miguel Cabrera went 4-for-5 with a three-run homer, four RBI and three runs scored as the Detroit Tigers beat the Toronto Blue Jays, 7-3, in the opener of a three-game series.
Torii Hunter added three hits to reach 2,000 for his career. Alex Avila had a solo homer and Prince Fielder and Matt Tuiasosopo each knocked in a run for the Tigers, who took two of three contests from the New York Yankees over the weekend.
Anibal Sanchez (1-0) allowed two runs on five hits while striking out eight over seven innings for Detroit, which took four of six from Toronto last season.
Colby Rasmus hit a solo homer for the Blue Jays, who fell to 2-5 on the young season. Melky Cabrera and Jose Reyes had an RBI apiece.
Brandon Morrow (0-1) gave up five runs on nine hits over 3 2/3 innings for Toronto, which started a six-game road trip on Tuesday.
The Tigers got on the board in the first inning, as Miguel Cabrera hit a two- out single to right and scored on Fielder's double to right-center field.
J.P. Arencibia almost tied the game in the top of the second, but Tigers left fielder Don Kelly robbed him of a homer. Avila led off the bottom half of the frame with a homer to right, making it 2-0 Detroit.
The Blue Jays did score a run in the third, when Emilio Bonifacio tripled to center with one down and raced home on Reyes' single to right.
The Tigers had a chance to get the run back in the bottom half. Hunter doubled and tried to score on Miguel Cabrera's single to right. Arencibia did a nice job of applying the tag on Hunter. Detroit loaded the bases later in the inning for Jhonny Peralta, who grounded out.
Miguel Cabrera's homer in the fourth gave the Tigers some breathing room. With two outs, Austin Jackson and Hunter hit consecutive singles. Cabrera then smacked a home run over the wall in right to make it 5-1.
Toronto got one run back in the fifth after Jose Reyes hit a two-out single, stole second and raced home on Melky Cabrera's single up the middle.
The Tigers tacked on two more runs in the eighth. Jackson reached third on third baseman Maicer Izturis' throwing error and scored on Cabrera's single. Pinch-hitter Tuiasosopo added an RBI double two batters later, making it 7-2.
Rasmus' homer in the ninth accounted for the final margin.
Tigers designated hitter Victor Martinez missed the game after suffering a cut on his right thumb that required eight stitches. He is listed as day-to-day ... Melky Cabrera now has 1,002 hits for his career ... The Tigers had 15 hits, compared to eight for Toronto.