Detroit: Tigers designated hitter Miguel Cabrera is one hit away from another historic milestone.
The 39-year-old veteran tallied three singles in the Tigers’ 5-3 loss against the New York Yankees on Wednesday at Comerica Park, leaving him at 2,999 career hits entering Thursday’s series finale.
The Tigers play three home games against the Colorado Rockies from Friday through Sunday. With one more hit, Cabrera will become the 33rd player in MLB history to reach 3,000 hits.
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Doing so will make the 20-year MLB veteran the seventh player in history with 500 home runs and 3,000 hits. And Cabrera, boasting 599 doubles, could soon be one of three players with 500 homers, 3,000 hits and 600 doubles.
The hits from Cabrera weren’t wasted Wednesday night. Cabrera finished 3-for-4 with one strikeout.
Facing Yankees right-handed reliever Chad Green, Cabrera followed Jeimer Candelario’s sixth-inning leadoff single with a broken-bat single – No. 2,999 – on a grounder that snuck through the infield hole and into left field.
Despite consecutive outs, Harold Castro plated Candelario and Cabrera with a double to the left-center gap. He hammered a first-pitch fastball from Green, and his two RBIs tied the game at 3-all.
Tigers righty reliever Drew Hutchison allowed one unearned run in the seventh, and fellow right-hander Joe Jimenez gave up an earned run in the eighth inning. Righty Michael Fulmer, who took over for Hutchison, logged the final two outs in the seventh.
Righty Jason Foley pitched the ninth.
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Three’s a crowd:
Cabrera also recorded singles in the second and fourth innings off Yankees right-handed starter Luis Severino.
His first hit, an infield single to third base, occurred on Severino’s sixth-pitch changeup in a 2-2 count. His second hit, a single up the middle, came on an eight-pitch fastball in a 3-2 count.
In the second, Victor Reyes pushed an RBI single to right field for a 1-0 lead. Cabrera, though, was thrown out – for the first out – trying to go from first to third on the play.
Cabrera’s fourth-inning hit, with the Tigers trailing 2-1, sparked a bases-loaded situation, as Reyes (single) and Spencer Torkelson (walk) followed the former two-time MVP by reaching safely with one out. But Castro lined out and Tucker Barnhart struck out swinging, stranding the bases juiced.
An opportunity for No. 3,000 appeared in the eighth, as Cabrera stepped into the batter’s box as the inning’s leadoff hitter against New York right-handed reliever Clay Holmes.
Cabrera struck out swinging on a fourth-pitch 96.8 mph sinker.
E-Rod rock solid:
Left-hander Eduardo Rodriguez labored through the first three innings, but he retired 11 of his final 12 opponents to conclude his outing. He allowed a one-out solo home run to Anthony Rizzo in the sixth inning but picked up the final two outs.
Rodriguez, in his third start this season, allowed three runs on four hits and one walk with five strikeouts in six innings.
The Yankees scored two runs off him in the third on an RBI double from Aaron Judge and RBI groundout from Rizzo, taking a 2-1 lead with a runner on third base. Rodriguez escaped further damage by striking out Giancarlo Stanton looking on a fastball that painted the inside edge.
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In the fourth, Rodriguez relied on his changeup.
He pitched a perfect inning.
Rodriguez retired nine batters in a row until Rizzo’s one-out home run in the sixth.
For his 98 pitches (58 strikes), Rodriguez used 39 four-seam fastballs, 24 cutters, 21 changeups, 11 sinkers and three sliders. He racked up seven swings and misses – including four with his changeup – and 17 called strikes.
His fastball averaged 91.7 mph.
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This article originally appeared on Detroit Free Press: Miggy one away from 3,000; Detroit Tigers lose to Yankees, 5-3: