Cabrera homered and had a go-ahead two-run single in the ninth to lead the Detroit Tigers to a 7-6 victory over Royals on Friday night.
The veteran slugger has 25 home runs and 108 RBI in his career against Kansas City.
Cabrera, who finished with three hits and four RBI, singled off Wade Davis (1-1) to drive in Ian Kinsler and Jose Iglesias in the ninth and put the Tigers ahead after they gave up the lead in the bottom of the eighth.
"Obviously we're happy we came out on the winning side, but what a great game to watch, just as a fan of baseball, with the back and forth, both teams scoring off of closers," Tigers manager Brad Ausmus said. "It was good entertainment."
Davis, who just came off the disabled list and not pitched since July 22, blew his third save in 24 chances.
Cabrera hit a 439-foot shot, his 29th homer, off Peter Moylan in the seventh, and also had an RBI single in Detroit's three-run third. Justin Upton homered in the second and added an RBI single in the third.
"I was thinking I should make a better pitch than that, for sure, that thing right now is eating me inside pretty much," Rodriguez said. "I've got many options to go with and I didn't. The only good thing possibly I can think of is obviously the guys came back with the two runs. At that point I've just got to shut it down, one way or another."
World Series champion Kansas City has three consecutive one-run losses after winning 18 of its previous 22 games.
Tigers starter Anibal Sanchez gave up three unearned runs and five hits over five innings.
Danny Duffy allowed four runs and nine hits in 5 2/3 innings and has allowed 18 hits and 11 runs over 10 2/3 innings in consecutive starts.
"I felt like I battled," Duffy said. "We had a rough third inning there. They were kind of singling me to death. I did my best to try to keep my team in the game. It's kind of been a rough couple of games for us."
ROYALS PROMOTE FOUR
The Royals purchased the contract of INF Hunter Dozier, a 2013 first-round pick who hit 23 HRs with 75 RBI this season with Double-A Northwest Arkansas and Triple-A Omaha. They also recalled C Tony Cruz, IF-OF Whit Merrifield and OF Terrance Gore.
Erick Aybar started at third base for the Tigers. It was only his second career game there, with the other on May 30, 2007, while with the Angels against the Mariners. He did not have an assist or putout against the Royals.
TIGERS SUSPEND SAUPOLD
The Tigers suspended minor league RHP Warwick Saupold for five games after he was arrested on Aug. 28 and charged with assault for getting into a physical altercation with two Pittsburgh Pirates minor leaguers at a Toledo bar. Saupold made his big league debut with Detroit this season, going 1-1 with a 7.45 ERA in six relief appearances, but spent most of the season with Triple-A Toledo, where he went 7-2 with a 2.30 ERA in 18 games, including 11 starts.
Tigers: OF Cameron Maybin (left thumb contusion) has not played since Monday. ... 3B Nick Castellanos (fractured fifth metacarpal of his left swing) took about 25 swings with a fungo off a tee. "He felt it a little bit today, swinging," Tigers manager Brad Ausmus said. "It buzzed him every once in a while, which is normal."
Royals: RHP Wade Davis, who went on the disabled list July 31 with a right flexor strain, was activated. Manager Ned Yost said he would avoid using Davis in back-to-back games for a while. ... OF Lorenzo Cain has not played since Tuesday because of a sore left wrist. ... LHP Jason Vargas, who is rehabbing from 2015 elbow surgery, struck out 10 and walked none, while allowing two runs on five hits over 5 2/3 innings in a Thursday start for Triple-A Omaha against Round Rock.
Tigers: RHP Michael Fulmer is 0-1 with a 1.98 ERA in two appearances against the Royals.
Royals: RHP Yordano Ventura is 6-0 with a 2.98 ERA in 10 games against the Tigers.
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