Miguel Cabrera chasing 3,000 hits: Tigers star one knock in need of milestone

Detroit Tigers designated hitter Miguel Cabrera will have to wait to join the 3,000-hit club. Thursday afternoon Cabrera went 0 for 3 with a walk in Detroit’s win over the New York Yankees (DET 3, NYY 0). The walk is remarkable because the Yankees intentionally walked Cabrera with runners on second and third and two outs in the eighth inning. The Tigers led 1-0 at the time and the move set up the left on left matchup with Lucas Luetge and Austin Meadows.

“We got a lot of respect for Meadows behind (Cabrera),” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said after the game. “Just left on left, I felt like the matchup, I just liked it better in that situation. Baseball call for me there. Tough decision… Little more gut-wrenching than usual.”

Cabrera will try next to get his 3,000th hit when the Colorado Rockies head to Detroit for a three-game interleague series this weekend. He has three more games to get the milestone in front of the home crowd before a road trip.

The recently turned 39-year-old Cabrera is playing in his 20th MLB season, was originally signed by the then-Florida Marlins out of Venezuela. He made his big-league debut in 2003, just months after celebrating his 20th birthday. His first hit from him, as fate would have it, was a walk-off home run. Cabrera picked up hits three hits Wednesday night to get to 2,999.

Cabrera spent five years with the Marlins in total, receiving Most Valuable Player Award consideration in each of them. He wrapped up his career in Florida with career marks of 842 hits and 138 home runs, as well as a slash line of .313/.388/.542 (143 OPS+).

The Marlins traded Cabrera and left-handed starter Dontrelle Willis to the Tigers in December 2007. Florida received in return, among others, Andrew Miller and Cameron Maybin.

Cabrera has spent the past 14-plus years with the Tigers, amassing a .310/.387/.528 (145 OPS+) slash line. Just last season, Cabrera hit his 500th career home run. Cabrera, as a result, will be just the seventh member of the 3,000-hit club to have also homered 500 or more times, joining Henry Aaron, Alex Rodriguez, Albert Pujols, Willie Mays, Rafael Palmeiro, and Eddie Murray.

During Cabrera’s time in Detroit, he’s won a pair of MVP Awards (the most notable one coming as part of his Triple Crown victory in 2013) and ran his career totals to 11 All-Star Game appearances, seven Silver Slugger Awards, and four batting titles.

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