Detroit Tigers' Miguel Cabrera hits 498th home run in 4-2 win over Boston Red Sox

·4 min read

The ovations for Detroit Tigers veteran Miguel Cabrera keep getting louder.

The fans at Comerica Park stood and cheered in the second inning when Cabrera smoked a solo home run to right field. The home run marked the 498th of his 19-year career, putting him two away from becoming the 28th player in MLB history with at least 500 home runs.

As Cabrera inched closer to a coveted milestone, the Tigers (52-57) rode the momentum of a memorable swing and electric relief appearances for a 4-2 win over the Boston Red Sox in Tuesday's series opener.

Detroit is 43-33 since May 8 and 12-6 since the All-Star break.

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Detroit Tigers' Miguel Cabrera hits a solo home run against the Boston Red Sox in the second inning of a baseball game in Detroit, Tuesday, Aug. 3, 2021.
Detroit Tigers' Miguel Cabrera hits a solo home run against the Boston Red Sox in the second inning of a baseball game in Detroit, Tuesday, Aug. 3, 2021.

In the fourth inning, Cabrera singled to left field.

He reached 2,944 career hits, passing Frank Robinson for 35th place on MLB's all-time hits leaderboard. The 38-year-old is hitting .448 (13-for-29) with four home runs, 10 RBIs, five walks and four strikeouts in his past nine games.

Cabrera, who finished 2-for-4 against the Red Sox, is two home runs away from No. 500 and 56 hits from No. 3,000. Only two players — Sam Crawford (2,961) and Sam Rice (2,987) — stand between Cabrera and one of his prized milestones.

The Tigers took a 3-2 lead in the fifth inning, as Akil Baddoo doubled to the right-center gap to chase Red Sox starter Garrett Richards. A speedy Derek Hill, who drew a walk, scored from first base for the go-ahead run.

Jonathan Schoop ripped a two-out double to the left-field corner in the seventh inning, and Robbie Grossman followed with an RBI single for a 4-2 margin.

For the final four innings, manager AJ Hinch turned to relievers Joe Jimenez, Michael Fulmer, Jose Cisnero and Gregory Soto. They each produced a scoreless inning. Soto picked up his 12th save this season and struck out two batters, including Rafael Devers with a 101 mph fastball to end the game.

Fulmer struck out Devers (96 mph fastball), Xander Bogaerts (95 mph fastball) and J.D. Martinez (91 mph slider) in the seventh. They're the Nos. 2-4 hitters in Boston's lineup, and all three went down swinging and missing.

Loading the bases

After Grossman and Cabrera produced consecutive singles in the fourth inning, Jeimer Candelario drew a nine-pitch walk to load the bases against Richards. He recorded his first out by striking out Eric Haase, but Harold Castro made sure not to squander the opportunity.

While the Tigers would have enjoyed more than one run, Castro's sacrifice fly to left field plated Grossman to tie the game at two runs. The next batter, Willi Castro, grounded out to first base on a first-pitch slider to end the inning.

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Tigers left fielder Akil Baddoo runs out a one-run double against the Red Sox in the fifth inning on Tuesday, Aug. 3, 2021, at Comerica Park.
Tigers left fielder Akil Baddoo runs out a one-run double against the Red Sox in the fifth inning on Tuesday, Aug. 3, 2021, at Comerica Park.

Richards allowed three runs on five hits and two walks over four-plus innings. He struck out five and threw 46 of 72 pitches for strikes. Until the fourth inning, Cabrera (home run) and Hill (single in the third) were the only players to reach safely.

Mixed results for Peralta

In his past two starts, right-hander Wily Peralta has conceded 11 earned runs across nine innings for an 11.00 ERA, with 11 hits, five walks and four strikeouts. As for his five starts before the implosion? Peralta posted a 0.34 ERA — one earned run over 26⅔ innings — and twice completed the seventh inning.

On Tuesday, Peralta was somewhere in between.

He held the Red Sox to two runs (one earned) on six hits and two walks, but the 32-year-old couldn't complete the fifth inning. He walked Bogaerts and Martinez with two outs in the fifth and reached 96 pitches, so Hinch decided to pull him.

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Tigers pitcher Wily Peralta throws against the Red Sox in the fourth inning on Tuesday, Aug. 3, 2021, at Comerica Park.
Tigers pitcher Wily Peralta throws against the Red Sox in the fourth inning on Tuesday, Aug. 3, 2021, at Comerica Park.

Righty Kyle Funkhouser entered to face Alex Verdugo, who struck out to end the inning.

Although Peralta's overall results were solid, considering he only gave up one earned run, he fell behind in too many counts and wasn't always efficient. He needed 22 pitches in the first inning, 24 pitches in the second, 20 in the third, 10 in the fourth and 20 for two outs in the fifth.

The first of two runs against Peralta scored because of Candelario's throwing error at third base. He bobbled a grounder from Bogaerts and rushed his throw, which darted past an outstretched Schoop at first base. Martinez then plated Bogaerts with a single to right for a 1-0 Red Sox lead. (Because of the error, the run wasn't charged to Peralta's final line.)

A second-inning solo home run from Hunter Renfroe made it 2-0.

Evan Petzold is a sports reporter at the Detroit Free Press. Contact him at epetzold@freepress.com or follow him on Twitter @EvanPetzold. Read more on the Detroit Tigers and sign up for our Tigers newsletter.

This article originally appeared on Detroit Free Press: Detroit Tigers' Miguel Cabrera homers in 4-2 win over Red Sox

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