Miguel Cabrera got a piece of the Rock.

Then Victor Martinez got a piece of five consecutive 2-2 pitches with two out from Hiashi Iwakuma.

Result: Two homers worth a combined five runs. Those blows, and eight innings from Justin Verlander, allowed the Tigers to beat Lloyd McClendon’s Mariners, 6-3, in the series opener at Safeco Field on Friday night.

With the game scoreless, Cabrera sent a two-run homer over the left-center fence in the third against the difficult Iwakuma. It was the 374th homer of his career, tying him for 72nd on the all-time list with a former Tiger and an everlasting Indians legend: Rocky Colavito.

Cabrera said he hadn’t heard of Colavito. He was interested to hear how Colavito – like Cabrera – joined the Tigers in a spectacular trade. It happened a few days before the start of the 1960 season. The Indians sent Colavito, the defending AL home-run champion, to the Tigers for Harvey Kuenn, the defending batting champion. Colavito hit 139 homers for the Tigers but remains an Indians treasure. He celebrated his 80th birthday last August in Cleveland with Indians fans.

Martinez, like Colavito, began his career with the Indians and made it to the Tigers. He is so far having the best season of his career, the kind that few hitters have had since Rocky Colavito was breaking in during the 1950s.

Not only is Martinez leading the American League in hitting at .347, but he once again has as many homers (13) as strikeouts (13). Call that the DiMaggio ratio; in six seasons, Joe DiMaggio hit at least 30 homers and had more homers than strikeouts. Those 13 strikeouts that Martinez has match DiMaggio’s total for all of 1941, when he had 30 homers and the 56-game hitting streak.

Since the mid-1950s, one big leaguer has hit at least 30 homers in a season and had fewer strikeouts than homers. That was Barry Bonds in 2004 (45 homers, 41 strikeouts).

Martinez evened up his homer-strikeout ratio in this fashion: After third baseman Kyle Seager tied the score with a two-run homer in the fourth, he mishandled what would have been Torii Hunter’s inning-ending double-play ball in the fifth. He did throw out Hunter at first (call reversed on a challenge), but that left first base open with two out.

McClendon, the Tigers’ hitting coach the last seven years, didn’t wish to see more of Cabrera’s excellence. He ordered Cabrera’s third intentional walk, which brought up Martinez.

“Victor doesn’t really need anything to fire him up for an at-bat,” Tigers manager Brad Ausmus said. “I didn’t think that anyone’s concentration could be more than Victor’s. But when Miggy gets walked in front of him, even Victor’s concentration goes up.”