DETROIT (AP) — Miguel Cabrera got his ninth straight hit before the string ended, Jonathan Schoop launched a grand slam and the Detroit Tigers beat the Tampa Bay Rays 10-4 Friday night.
Rays rookie shortstop Wander Franco extended his on-base streak to 39 games, then left in the first inning with tightness in his right hamstring. The 20-year-old Franco, who came up limping on Nelson Cruz’s double in the first inning, has the second longest on-base run in major league history — Frank Robinson set the record of 43 in 1956.
The Tigers scored twice in the sixth, four times in the seventh and three more in the eighth to beat the team with the best record in the AL.
Cabrera singled in his first two at-bats, giving him a career total of 2,973 and making him the first Tigers player to get nine straight hits since Walt Dropo’s major league record 12 straight in July 1952.
Cabrera was the first big leaguer aged 38 or older to get nine straight hits since Tigers Hall of Famer Ty Cobb did it in 1925, the Elias Sports Bureau said.
The Rays trailed 3-1 going into the seventh, but loaded the bases with two out on a single and two walks by Jose Cisnero (4-4). Pinch-hitter Ji-Man Choi put the Rays ahead with a three-run double just past the dive of center fielder Derek Hill.
In the half, Detroit put runners on second and third with no outs against Pete Fairbanks (3-6), but pinch-hitter Harold Castro was called out on a 3-2 pitch.
Akil Baddoo walked to load the bases, and Andrew Kitteredge replaced Fairbanks. On his second pitch, he appeared to hit Schoop on the knee, but a replay review was inconclusive.
Two pitches later, Schoop hit a line drive into the left-field stands for his fifth career grand slam.
Victor Reyes made it 10-4 with a three-run homer in the eighth.
Neither starter was involved in the decision. Tyler Alexander allowed one run in 4 1/3 innings while Tampa Bay’s Michael Wacha gave up one run in five innings while striking out six.
The Rays loaded the bases with one out in the first inning, but Alexander struck out Brandon Lowe and Tyler Luplow to escape the jam.
Tampa Bay took the lead in the fifth. Kevin Kiermaier led off with a triple and scored on a single by Joey Wendle, who had replaced Franco.
Eric Haase tied the game in the bottom half with his 21st home run, the eighth allowed by Wacha in his last six starts.
The Tigers took a 3-1 lead in the sixth. Baddoo led off the sixth with a triple against J.P. Feyereisen. Schoop struck out, but Robbie Grossman walked to put runners on the corners.
Cabrera struck out, ending his hit streak at nine, but Jeimer Candelario hit a two-run double over Kiermaier’s head in center field.
CRUZ’S HOME AWAY FROM HOME
Cruz’s first-inning double raised his career batting average at Comerica Park to .329 with 32 extra-base hits - 11 doubles and 20 homers - in 65 regular-season games. Cruz also has three homers in four postseason games in Detroit.
The teams continue their weekend series on Saturday with Detroit’s Casey Mize (7-7, 3.51) facing Chris Archer (1-1, 5.28).