Detroit Tigers do Miguel Cabrera justice in send-off.
If one could script the ideal outcome for the Detroit Tigers on the final day of the 2023 regular season, Sunday's 5-2 win over the Cleveland Guardians might be worthy of a daytime Emmy.
Miguel Cabrera took the field at first base in the seventh inning, and what unfolded next couldn't have been scripted any better.
Miguel Cabrera's final at-bat was a walk in the 7th by Guardians pitcher Enyel De Los Santos. He finished on the day going 0-for-3, but the fans know Cabrera will be heading to the Hall-of-Fame. Here are some of his career numbers as he capped off his career Sunday.
-Batting average: .307 (Career)
-3,174 hits, (ranked 16th all-time) 511 home runs, (tied for 25th) 627 doubles (ranked 13th all-time)
Scoring for Detroit began in the first inning when Kerry Carpenter singled, driving in Parker Meadows, who had reached base on a walk, to put the Tigers ahead 1-0. In the second, Akil Baddoo doubled and later scored on a Javier Baez hit to the right-field corner. The Tigers added their third run in the third inning on an Andy Ibanez RBI single to left field.
After the Guardians brought it within a run on a Tyler Freeman two-run home run, Matt Vierling continued his hot home stand with a two-run shot of his own to give Detroit the 5-2 lead in the bottom of the fifth. Eduardo Rodriguez, in what could have been his final start in a Tigers uniform, went seven innings, allowing just two earned runs, allowing four hits, and striking out five. The bullpen duo of Will Vest and Alex Lange pitched two scoreless frames to secure the win.
With the win, Detroit ended the season with a 78-84 record, a 22-game improvement from the 2022 season, and secured second place in the AL Central. They posted a 39-35 record in the second half and finished with a positive run differential of plus-7 (315-308). In September, the Tigers went 18-10. The team also sold out consecutive games for the first time since August 2014.