DETROIT - Miguel Cabrera would prefer it if the struggling Detroit Tigers put games away earlier than the eighth inning.
Cabrera hit a two-run homer to cap Detroit's second straight eighth-inning rally, beating the Minnesota Twins, 6-5, last night.
Magglio Ordonez homered and drove in two runs, and Gary Sheffield and Carlos Guillen also hit home runs for Detroit, which scored six times Monday in the eighth inning for an 11-9 win over Minnesota. The Tigers improved to 4-10 with the two wins.
"We need to score runs early in the game," Cabrera said. "Don't want to wait until seventh, eighth inning . . . it's tough that way."
Justin Morneau homered for Minnesota and Joe Mauer drove in two runs.
"It was another one of those games that we let get away in the end," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "The last two nights we did enough, had the lead but just couldn't hold it."
The Tigers trailed, 4-3, going into the eighth, but Placido Polanco walked with one out. He advanced to third on Jesse Crain's wild pickoff throw to first. An out later, Ordonez doubled to right to tie it and Cabrera followed with a drive over the left-field fence for his second home run of the season.
"That was a fastball. I got my hands out in front," Cabrera said.
Crain (0-1) allowed three runs in the eighth.
"I threw a good pitch to Ordonez and he hit it, and just came up and over on the ball to Cabrera," he said. "This is a dangerous club and they are beginning to show it. You can't make mistakes with them."
Clay Rapada (1-0) got his first major league win by getting two outs in the eighth.
Todd Jones worked the ninth for his second save after allowing Delmon Young's triple and former Tiger Craig Monroe's RBI single in the ninth.
On Young's triple, left fielder Ryan Raburn appeared to make a spectacular catch by leaping above the fence to rob Young of a homer. But when he came down and fell on the warning track, the ball popped out of his glove.
"I could just see it coming out and I said, 'Stop!' " Raburn said.
Tigers starter Nate Robertson left after 6 1/3 innings with tightness in his left lat muscle and will be evaluated further today. He said he first felt it pull on a pitch in the sixth and it tightened up in the seventh.
"I don't think it's anything too serious," Detroit manager Jim Leyland said.
Robertson allowed four runs on six hits, walking one and striking out five.
"I don't anticipate missing a start," he said.
Dontrelle Willis is already on the 15-day disabled list with a hyperextended right knee.
Twins starter Scott Baker gave up three runs on five hits in seven innings, walking two and striking out three.
"We didn't do much throughout the game early but we did hit some home runs obviously," Leyland said. "We hung in there."
Minnesota took a 1-0 lead in the first inning on Mauer's fielder's choice. Sheffield's two-out home run tied it in Detroit's half of the inning. Mauer put Minnesota ahead with an RBI single in the third and Morneau's two-run homer in the sixth gave the Twins a 4-1 lead.
Ordonez hit his second home run with two outs in the bottom of the sixth and Guillen led off the seventh with his third homer.