Middle of Tigers lineup in top form early

Middle of Tigers lineup in top form early

DETROIT -- If Tigers fans were looking for the middle of the batting order to carry the offense starting out, they can't be disappointed after three games. The third through sixth hitters -- Magglio Ordonez, Miguel Cabrera, Carlos Guillen and Brandon Inge -- entered Friday having driven in 12 of Detroit's 16 runs during the three-game series against the Royals.

Seven of those RBIs came from Cabrera, who became just the second player in franchise history with seven hits and seven RBIs through the season's first three games, according to Elias Sports Bureau. Hall of Famer Harry Heilmann is the other, having done it in 1923.

"I've said all along when he masters not giving at-bats away, there's no telling what he can do," manager Jim Leyland said of Cabrera.

But he wasn't the only one who came home to Detroit with a hot bat. Ordonez's three-hit game Thursday, including his solo homer, left him at 7-for-14 for the series in Kansas City and hitting the ball solidly on a consistent basis. Guillen went 5-for-14 in the series.

Leyland was also raving about Inge and the way he looks at the plate after hitting two doubles against the Royals.

"Brandon Inge is swinging the bat extremely well," Leyland said. "He might be swinging the bat as good as I've seen him."