Cabrera, who is retiring after this season, delivered the game-winning single in a 3-2 victory in what could be his final appearance in Kansas City. The 41-year-old isn’t expected to start Thursday’s afternoon affair but could be used as a pinch hitter in the finale of the four-game series.
Cabrera came to the plate in the sixth inning against Carlos Hernandez and knocked the right-hander’s 100 mph fastball into center field on the fifth pitch of the at-bat.
“It was an incredible at-bat,” Tigers manager A.J. Hinch said. “He fought himself and the ball was just away from him enough to hit the patented Miggy single — which we’ve seen as a young player, we’ve seen as a mid-age player and now we’re seeing as an older veteran player
“It seems like there’s never a doubt that he’s going to do something. In those moments, he’s pretty calm.”
The RBI was just the 15th of the season for Cabrera, who is wrapping up a stellar 21-year career that includes 3,131 hits and 508 homers.
The two-time American League MVP, four-time batting champion and 12-time All-Star is the only player since 1967 to win the Triple Crown as he led the league in batting (.330), homers (44) and RBIs (139) in 2012.
Before Wednesday’s game, Royals legend George Brett and current eight-time All-Star Salvador Perez were part of a pregame ceremony in which Cabrera was honored. Cabrera, who completed the 2012 Triple Crown season with a series in Kansas City, received a framed photo collection entitled “Triple Crown Royalty.
“It’s a great honor that they do that for me,” Cabrera said after the victory. “I appreciate that. I always want to say thank you for everything they do for me. They made my life better.”
Kansas City stranded runners at first and third in the ninth on Wednesday before falling for the 10th time in the last 13 games
Michael Massey had an RBI double in the contest for his lone hit in 15 at-bats since the All-Star break. He is 5-for-31 (.161) this month.
“Hits have been hard to come by lately,” Massey said. “Any time they fall, that’s good. I try to follow a process and try to have good at-bats and hit the ball hard.”
The Royals announced that veteran right-hander Zack Greinke (1-9, 5.44 ERA) will be activated from the injured list Thursday to start the finale. Greinke last pitched on July 4 against the Minnesota Twins before leaving in the sixth inning with shoulder discomfort
Greinke, 39, gave up six runs and seven hits over 5 1/3 innings in the loss. He served up three homers, struck out three and walked none.
Greinke is winless in his last 11 starts in the second season of his second tour of duty with Kansas City.
Greinke is 13-8 with a 2.81 ERA in 33 appearances (30 starts) against the Tigers. He received a no-decision versus Detroit on May 24 when he gave up one run and four hits over five innings
Cabrera is 13-for-43 (.302) with one homer and 14 strikeouts against Greinke.
All-Star right-hander Michael Lorenzen (4-6, 3.75) will start for Detroit.
Lorenzen, 31, won his last two starts, allowing a total of five hits and no runs in 11 2/3 innings.
Lorenzen is 0-1 with a 4.63 ERA in two starts against the Royals this season. Overall, he is 0-1 with a 4.26 ERA in three appearances (two starts) against Kansas City
Perez is 2-for-6 with a homer against Lorenzen.
–Field Level Media
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