DETROIT — After a pregame tribute ceremony for his retirement, Venezuelan Miguel Cabrera scored the first run and drove in another Saturday, as the Detroit Tigers shut out the Cleveland Guardians 8-0 to take second place in the American League. Central Division.
The start of the game was delayed 33 minutes in celebration of the 40-year-old designated hitter, who will retire after the weekend and has been selected to the All-Star Game 12 times in 21 seasons in the Major Leagues.
Cabrera went 1 for 4 with a double, and had a .260 batting average, with four home runs and 34 RBIs. The 2012 Triple Crown winner will play his final game on Sunday, the same day that Terry Francona will lead Cleveland for the final time.
Detroit (77-84) leads Cleveland (76-85) by one game. The Tigers are 8-4 against the Guardians this season and will maintain the tiebreaker advantage if they finish with the same record.
“We feel good about our finish,” Tigers manager AJ Hinch said. “We played well. “We play with intelligence and we explain the plays. “That gives me hope.”
Cabrera led off the fourth with his third double and fourth hit in two days, and then delighted the sold-out crowd of 40,224 by reaching third on Kerry Carpenter’s liner to right field.
“He didn’t do anything to surprise us. Even the kids have stories of him making plays like that,” Hinch said. “It’s smart baseball and he knows it. It’s just a matter of his body being there and him being able to stay whole.”
Cabrera scored on Matt Vierling’s triple against Tristan McKenzie (0-3), who allowed one run, three hits and three walks in 4 1/3 innings.
For the Guardians, the Dominicans José Ramírez 4-2, Óscar González 2-1. Venezuelan Andres Giménez 4-0.
For the Tigers, Venezuelan Miguel Cabrera went 1 for 4 with a run scored and an RBI. Cuban Andy Ibáñez was 3-for-4 with two runs scored and two RBIs.