Detroit — The Tigers closed out the home portion of their 2022 schedule on Sunday, hosting the Minnesota Twins, and designated hitter Miguel Cabrera hit yet another career milestone.
Cabrera was back in the starting lineup at designated hitter after not appearing in Saturday’s game. It was his 1,000th game played at Comerica Park. He joins St. Louis Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina (Busch Stadium) as the only active major leaguers with 1,000 games played at a single ballpark.
“His mind isn’t 39, 40, it’s his body. So, I think sometimes he’s got to remind himself that Father Time might win this one, but (that’s OK),” manager AJ Hinch said after the 5-2 win. “I love the aggressiveness. He’s a heads-up baserunner and I think he’s always been that way.”
Cabrera went 2-for-4 and notched two line-drive singles to center field. His second hit scored left fielder Akil Baddoo from second base and gave the Tigers a three-run cushion in the bottom of the eighth.
His first hit came in the first inning, moving catcher Eric Haase to third and helping the Tigers jump out to a 2-0 lead. A wild pitch from Twins starter Simeon Woods Richardson allowed Haase to score and a throwing error by catcher Ryan Jeffers on the same play sent Cabrera to third. He was then thrown out at home trying to score on Jonathan Schoop’s flyout to left.
Lucky No. 13
Haase is unknowingly erasing the negative stigma around the number 13. Haase, who wears No. 13, has been a prize for the Tigers and belted home runs in back-to-back games during the weekend series against the Twins.
On Saturday, he had three hits, including a 402-foot blast to left in the 3-2 win. On Sunday, he followed that up with a 364-foot shot to left in the third inning that put the Tigers up, 3-0. Haase also plated a run in the first when he reached on a fielding error by Twins first baseman Jose Miranda.
Haase is second on the team in homers with 14, trailing shortstop Javier Báez by two.
“(It gives me a little bit of satisfaction), but at the same time I’m trying to get better at-bats from a general (standpoint),” Haase said. “Just trying to get better than I was last year. Strike out a little less, walk a little bit more and just (my) better approach has really been paying off so I’m happy about that.”
Wentz frustrated with self
It’s common knowledge that Wentz is returning from injury and surgery during his rookie season. What isn’t is that he’s still heavily frustrated with himself, despite the lengths of recovery he’s made the last few months.
Wentz made his seventh and final start on Sunday. He gave up two hits, two runs and four walks with four strikeouts and threw 93 pitches in 4⅔ innings before he was replaced by Will Vest.
“I would’ve liked to definitely finish off quite a big stronger,” Wentz said. “(Looking at the bigger picture), I think I had two pretty solid outings, one or two that were OK and one not as good. For the most part, I thought I put together a solid month and threw the ball pretty well.
“I can take the last month and build on it into next year and then I think I can kind of be who I want to be.”
Wentz finished the season with a 2-2 record and a 3.03 ERA across 32⅔ innings pitched.
On deck: Mariners
▶ Series: Four games at T-Mobile Park, Seattle
▶ First pitch: Monday — 9:40 p.m.; Tuesday — 6:40 p.m. (Game 1 of straight doubleheader); Wednesday — 4:10 p.m.
▶ TV/radio: All four games on BSD/97.1
▶ Probables: Monday — RHP Bryan Garcia (1-0, 3.29) vs. RHP George Kirby (8-4, 3.21); Tuesday — Game 1: LHP Eduardo Rodriguez (5-5, 4.02) vs. LHP Marco Gonzales (10-15, 4.14), Game 2: TBA vs. RHP Chris Flexen (8-9, 3.64); Wednesday — LHP Tyler Alexander (4-11, 4.72) vs. TBA
Sara Tidwell is a freelance writer.