Flushing, NY – The top of the Detroit Tigers lineup came through in a big way Friday night.
Austin Jackson, Torii Hunter and Miguel Cabrera each hit a home run as the Tigers defeated the New York Mets, 6-1, in the opener of a three-game series at Citi Field.
Cabrera and Hunter each had a pair of hits, with Cabrera driving in three runs for the Tigers. Omar Infante also had two hits with a run scored.
Doug Fister (11-6) gave up one run on eight hits and two walks over 6 1/3 innings.
"It's just a matter of getting in a groove and being able to make the fine- tune adjustments," Fister said. "Today, I was battling myself a lot with my sinker and a couple of other things, but I was able to put out when I needed to."
Marlon Byrd drove in the lone run for New York. Daisuke Matsuzaka (0-1), who signed with the Mets on Thursday, got the start but struggled in his season debut, surrendering five runs on six hits and a walk through five frames.
"He pitched good, he kept us in the game," said Mets manager Terry Collins. "I thought the last two innings, he was very, very good. He used his fastball to set up his off-speed pitches effectively. I was really, really impressed."
Hunter clubbed an 0-2 pitch with one out in the first, only for the Mets to respond in the home half. Eric Young hit a leadoff single, stole second, and scored on Marlon Byrd's single to left.
However, the Tigers pounded Matsuzaka for four runs in the second. Infante started the inning with an infield single. After a line out by Jose Iglesias and a sacrifice bunt from Fister, Jackson walked.
Hunter then hit a ground rule double to center. Cabrera followed with a three- run shot to left. He hammered the first pitch thrown by Matsuzaka to give Detroit a 5-1 lead.
Jackson added to the lead with a solo shot to left in the seventh.
The Mets had opportunities to score with two on and two out in the seventh and in the eighth, but failed to capitalize on both chances.
They had another shot in the ninth, after Young ripped a two-out double to right, but Bruce Rondon retired Daniel Murphy to end the game.
Cabrera has reached base safely in each of his last 26 games. He also has 19 three-RBI games this season, second-most in team history. Only Hank Greenberg has more, with 23, set in 1935 ... Young went 3-for-5 ... Murphy had a nine- game hitting streak snapped ... The Mets were 2-for-10 with runners in scoring position and left 10 runners on base.