Miggy’s 494th homer powers twin-bill sweep

Detroit Tigers

CLEVELAND — Eric Haase’s first home run at Progressive Field came as a member of his hometown team against the organization that drafted him. Miguel Cabrera’s 494th career home run was his 50th against Cleveland. The combination proved crucial to getting the Tigers their first doubleheader sweep in 44 years in a city where they’ve struggled to win in any situation in recent seasons.

Detroit’s 7-1 victory in the wee hours of Thursday morning, coupled with a 9-4 win in the first game of the seven-inning doubleheader on Wednesday night, marked the Tigers’ first twin-bill sweep of the Indians since Aug. 7, 1986, and their first sweep in Cleveland since Sept. 14, 1977 — five days after Alan Trammell and Lou Whitaker made their Major League debuts. It matched Detroit’s win total in Cleveland for the last two-plus seasons combined. It also took the three-game series this week after a rough loss in the opener on Monday night.

While Cleveland fans mockingly chanted for Cabrera to retire, he let his bat respond for him. He recorded a pair of two-hit performances in the twin bill, punctuating the four-hit night with a fifth-inning home run off reliever Nick Wittgren. It was a classic Cabrera opposite-field swing, sending a drive to right-center that carried into the seats for his second homer of the series and his seventh homer of the season.

Cabrera’s 494th career homer broke a tie with Lou Gehrig and Fred McGriff for 28th on MLB’s all-time list. He has hit 50 of those home runs off Cleveland; only fellow Triple Crown winner Carl Yastrzemski (51) has more homers off Indians pitching in the expansion era since 1961.

Cabrera also had an opposite-field line-drive single and scored on a Zack Short sacrifice fly to open the scoring in the second inning. The four hits for the doubleheader closed out June for Cabrera batting .329 (28-for-85) for the month with five doubles, three home runs and 14 RBIs, his first full month batting over .300 since June 2019.

Haase, a former Cleveland Draft pick who played parts of two seasons for the Indians before the Tigers acquired the Michigan native for cash two offseasons ago, extended the lead with a 442-foot drive into the left-field bleachers.

The run support set up veteran right-hander Wily Peralta for his first win as a starter since April 26, 2017. He gave up some hard contact against an aggressive Cleveland lineup, but he managed five innings of three-hit ball with no walks and five strikeouts. His lone run allowed was unearned thanks to a Short throwing error in the second inning ahead of Bradley Zimmer’s RBI triple off the center-field wall.

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