DETROIT - When Detroit lost two straight to the struggling Cleveland Indians, Tigers manager Jim Leyland vowed to keep an even keel.
After a big win to wrap up the series, Leyland conceded one thing: This upcoming 10-game road trip is big.
"When everybody else knows the importance of it, obviously the players, the manager and the coaches know the importance of it," Leyland said. "The fans know. I'm sure they'll be watching, and there will be some late nights for them, maybe when we're in Anaheim. Then off to Chicago.
"Yeah, I don't think you can downplay it."
Miguel Cabrera hit a two-run homer in the first inning and Prince Fielder added a solo shot in the eighth to help the Tigers avoid a three-game sweep with a 7-1 victory Wednesday night.
Detroit remained one game behind the first-place White Sox in the AL Central. On Friday night, the Tigers start a stretch of 10 straight away from home - three against the Los Angeles Angels, four against the White Sox and three against Cleveland.
"Our fate's in our own hands," Detroit right-hander Doug Fister said. "We control our own destiny, we just have to take care of what we do."
Fister (8-8) allowed a run and four hits in seven innings. He struck out six and walked one.