Tigers blow 3-run lead, overtake Rockies on Cabrera double

DETROIT (AP) -- The Detroit Tigers had a long, hard road to .500 this season, and the culmination didn't come easy Saturday night.

Miguel Cabrera hit a two-run double in the bottom of the ninth and Detroit overcame Todd Jones' blown save to beat the Colorado Rockies 7-6.

With their fourth straight win and 14th in 17 games, the Tigers improved to .500 for the first time this season.

"Gives us a clean slate and something to build on," said Jones, who was lustily booed by the Comerica Park crowd when Colorado went ahead.

The Rockies used three consecutive two-out hits to claw back from a three-run deficit in the top of the ninth. But closer Brian Fuentes gave up a single, a walk and Cabrera's double to blow his fourth save of the year.

Colorado lost its sixth straight game. The Rockies have lost six or more in a row three times this season.

"I was impressed with our guys for the late rally but we just couldn't nail it down," Colorado manager Clint Hurdle said. "We had a lot of missed opportunities. This was a team loss."

The Tigers seemed set for an easy win when Jones came in with a 5-2 lead. He gave up a run-scoring single to Matt Holliday, but had two outs and was one strike away from whiffing Garrett Atkins before walking him.

Ryan Spilborghs, Jeff Baker and Chris Iannetta then had consecutive hits to give Colorado a 6-5 lead. Iannetta's double brought in Spilborghs with the go-ahead run.

"When you do what I do, it's all pass/fail," Jones said. "I take full responsibility for it. Heck, I'd boo me tonight."

It was his first blown save in 15 chances this season.

Manager Jim Leyland felt for his closer.

"It was a frustrating one, to be honest with you. Have a three-run lead, then you look up and you're down one. That's the life of a closer. He was 14-for-14 and the get booed that bad. That's a tough job."

Placido Polanco singled to lead off the bottom of the ninth and Ryan Raburn walked with one out. Cabrera then launched a pitch from Fuentes (1-3) into the right-center field gap to score both runners.

"That's good tonic for Miguel and good tonic for us. Miguel needed something like that," said Leyland. "That's the Miguel we traded for. I think we'll see a lot more than that."

Cabrera is hitting .279 with 11 hone runs and 47 RBI.

"It's all on me, I put myself in that situation," said Fuentes. "I was trying to get him out. I didn't want to walk him. I threw him a fastball but I got it up. I just didn't hit my spot."

Earlier, Raburn hit his first career grand slam for the Tigers, who are ensured of winning their sixth-straight series.

"As long as he gets in the game, he'll do something great," said Tigers' center fielder Curtis Granderson. "He's got great power but a lot of people don't know that."

Freddy Dolsi (1-2) got one out for his first major league win.

Detroit starter Justin Verlander allowed two runs and five hits in 5 2-3 innings, walking four batters and striking out six. He threw 118 pitches.

Colorado starter Jeff Francis gave up five runs, four earned, and 10 hits in six innings.

Raburn was in the game because Magglio Ordonez left in the top of the third with spasms in his right side.

Ordonez will be evaluated further on Sunday.

Raburn's first at-bat resulted in the Tigers' first run, when Francis threw the ball away on his bunt single.

Colorado got on the board on Taveras' RBI single in the fifth. Taveras also singled in a run in the sixth.

Game notes
Granderson was 0-for-3 to end his career-high 15-game hitting streak. ... Colorado SS Troy Tulowitzki snapped his 0-for-13 slump with a double leading off the third inning. He's hitting just .153 ... Taveras was caught stealing for only the third time this season when Ivan Rodriguez threw him out in the third. Taveras leads the majors with 36 steals.