CLEVELAND (AP) — Miguel Cabrera singled in his final at-bat at Progressive Field, Spencer Torkelson and Kerry Carpenter homered, and the Detroit Tigers beat the Cleveland Guardians 4-1 on Sunday to win the season series for the first time since 2015.
Cabrera, 40, is retiring at the end of the season and was presented with a guitar by the Guardians in a pregame ceremony. The Detroit slugger was hitless in his first three at-bats before lining a hit down the right field line in the eighth off reliever Eli Morgan.
The 12-time All-Star briefly thought about heading for second but went back to first. Detroit’s players stood in the dugout and clapped as he was replaced by pinch-runner Zach McKistry. Cabrera was given a loud ovation as he left the field with many fans chanting, “Miggy! Miggy!”
“He’s had some pretty insane numbers against everybody, but especially against Cleveland,” Torkelson said. “We know how big that moment was for him. That’s his farewell to this stadium.”
Cabrera thanked the Guardians organization and the fans for a memorable day.
“That was awesome,” he said.
Torkelson hit a two-run homer in the first off Logan Allen (6-6), his 22nd of the season. The Tigers hit a first-inning home run in three games of the series. Akil Baddoo hit a leadoff homer in the first game of Friday’s doubleheader and Carpenter had a three-run shot Saturday.
Carpenter led off the seventh with a homer off Enyel De Los Santos, his 17th. Baddoo had a pinch-hit RBI single later in the inning.
Eduardo Rodriguez (9-6) allowed one run and struck out six in 6 2/3 innings for the Tigers, who improved to 7-3 against the Guardians. The teams finish the season with three games in Detroit.
“That was really important to win a series, especially a long one,” Tigers manager A.J. Hinch said.
Cleveland has lost 15 of 22 and is in danger of falling out of contention in the AL Central. The Guardians trail first-place Minnesota by six games and lead the third-place Tigers by 1 1/2 games.
Allen gave up two runs in six innings, but got no help from his offense, which scored 10 runs in losing three of four in the series.
“It’s not a great recipe for success. I’ll tell you that,” Guardians manager Terry Francona said of the early deficits. “It’s a hard way to play, especially when runs are hard to come by for us.”
Rodriguez is 5-0 in seven career starts against Cleveland. He retired the first nine hitters before Steven Kwan doubled to lead off the fourth. Ramón Laureano’s two-out single scored Kwan.
Rodriguez was sidelined from May 29-July 4 with a left index finger pulley rupture. Alex Lange pitched the ninth for his 18th save.
Second baseman Andy Ibañez made a sliding catch of Laureano’s popup in shallow right field in the second. Shortstop Javier Báez made a backhand stop of Tyler Freeman’s ground ball in the fifth and recorded the out at first with a long throw. Báez topped that the next inning with a backhand grab of José Ramírez’s hard smash followed by another strong throw.
Center fielder Riley Greene made a diving catch of a ball hit by Kwan in the eighth.
Guardians right-handers Shane Bieber and Triston McKenzie, both out with elbow injuries, are throwing out to 120 feet and will advance to bullpen sessions soon. President of baseball operations Chris Antonetti is optimistic both will return in September.
Right-hander Cal Quantrill (shoulder inflammation) allowed six runs, including three homers, over 5 1/3 innings in a rehab start for Triple-A Columbus against Syracuse on Sunday.
Guardians: 1B Josh Naylor (right oblique strain) has been taking ground balls and taking swings in the batting cages.
Tigers: RHP Alex Faedo (2-4, 5,16 ERA) will start the opener of a three-game home series against the Chicago Cubs on Monday night.
Guardians: Cleveland starts a three-game series at home against the Los Angeles Dodgers on Tuesday night. RHP Noah Syndergaard (2-6, 6.57 ERA) will pitch the opener. He was acquired from the Dodgers for Amed Rosario on July 26.