Miguel Cabrera became the 28th major league player to hit 500 home runs, and the Detroit Tigers beat the host Toronto Blue Jays, 5-3, in 11 innings on Sunday.
Daz Cameron and Willi Castro each hit an RBI double in the 11th to help Detroit take two of three in the weekend series.
The 38-year-old Cabrera connected on a 1-1 pitch from Blue Jays lefthander Steven Matz in the sixth, sending the ball over the scoreboard in right-center field. Measured at 400 feet, the homer tied the score, 1-1.
Much of the crowd of 14,685 at Rogers Centre rose for a standing ovation as Cabrera rounded the bases. After celebrating with his teammates, the Tigers slugger came out to accept a curtain call, taking off his helmet and bowing to the fans behind the first-base dugout.
Cabrera, who won the Triple Crown and the first of back-to-back MVP awards in 2012, is the first Venezuelan to hit 500 homers. He is hoping to become the first hitter to reach the 500-homer and 3,000-hit milestones in the same season.
His 500th home run was hit No. 2,955 of his career, and he can reach that 3,000 milestone this year, too, if he can stay healthy and average one hit per game. Only six players have 3,000 hits and 500 homers: Hank Aaron, Willie Mays, Rafael Palmeiro, Albert Pujols, Alex Rodriguez, and Eddie Murray.
Lourdes Gurriel Jr. broke the tie with a two-out single off Detroit’s Michael Fulmer in the eighth. It was Toronto’s first hit in 26 at-bats this series with a runner in scoring position, but the Blue Jays couldn’t hold on in the ninth.
After Willi Castro hit a two-out double off Adam Cimber, lefthander Tayler Saucedo came on to face pinch-hitter Harold Castro, who hit a routine grounder to second. Marcus Semien bounced his throw to first and the ball got away from Vladimir Guerrero Jr., allowing the tying run to score.
Detroit’s Jonathan Schoop hit a sacrifice fly off Brad Hand in the 10th but Alejandro Kirk replied with a sacrifice fly off Tigers lefty Gregory Soto in the bottom half. Toronto loaded the bases with two outs but Soto struck out rookie Kevin Smith.
Kirby Snead (0-1), Toronto’s seventh pitcher of the game, got two quick outs in the 11th before Cameron and Willi Castro hit back-to-back RBI doubles.
Soto (6-3) worked two innings for the win, and Joe Jiménez got three outs for his first save in two chances.
Rays rout White Sox, put DH Nelson Cruz on COVID list
The Tampa Bay Rays placed designated hitter Nelson Cruz on the COVID-19 injured list.
The move was announced about one hour before the Rays routed the Chicago White Sox, 9-0, in a matchup of AL division leaders. It was not clear if Cruz tested positive for the coronavirus or was deemed a close contact of someone who did.
Tampa Bay also lost starting pitcher Chris Archer and first baseman Ji-Man Choi during the first two innings of the game. The AL East-leading Rays started the day with 16 players, including 15 pitchers, on the IL.
The 41-year-old Cruz, acquired from Minnesota last month, is hitting .198 with seven homers and 18 RBIs in 24 games with Tampa Bay. The slugger has a .270 batting average, with 26 homers and 68 RBIs, this season.
Archer was pulled because of left hip tightness in his first start since since April 10, when he left a game against the New York Yankees due to right lateral forearm tightness. He allowed one hit and one walk and struck out four before leaving after two scoreless innings.
Choi doubled in the first and scored on Austin Meadow’s single but left after the inning with left hamstring tightness.
The Rays recalled right-handed pitcher Chris Mazza from Triple-A Durham to take Cruz’s place on the roster.
Backup catcher Francisco Mejía had a three-run double and four Tampa Bay relievers followed Archer’s exit and helped to combine on a seven-hitter. Shawn Armstrong (1-0) replaced Archer and struck out four in two hitless innings. Adam Conley and Mazza followed, and Josh Fleming gave up three hits over the final three innings to get his first major league save.
Meadows had three RBIs for Tampa Bay, which took the final two games of the series after the White Sox won the opener 7-5 in 11 innings. The Rays outscored Chicago, 17-4, in the two wins.
Braves hand Orioles their 18th straight loss
Jorge Soler homered, Touki Toussaint pitched effectively into the sixth inning, and the surging Atlanta Braves beat Baltimore, 3-1, extending the Orioles’ losing streak to 18 games.
Baltimore’s skid is the longest in the major leagues since Kansas City dropped 19 in a row in 2005. This was only the third time during this streak that the Orioles lost by two runs or fewer.
Adam Duvall added a two-run double for the Braves, who have won nine in a row and 16 of their last 18. Atlanta came into the day with a five-game lead over Philadelphia atop the NL East.
The Braves have also won a franchise-record 13 consecutive road games.
Toussaint (3-2) allowed a run and five hits in 5⅓ innings. He walked three and struck out five. Atlanta used five relievers. Luke Jackson struck out the side in the eighth and Will Smith finished for his 28th save in 32 chances.
Tyler Naquin powers Reds’ sweep of Marlins
Tyler Naquin hit two solo homers and Vladimir Gutierrez pitched seven effective innings, helping the Cincinnati Reds beat the visiting Miami Marlins, 3-1, for a sweep of their four-game series. Naquin’s leadoff shot extended his hitting streak to 12 games. He added his 18th homer in the eighth, making it 3-1 when he drove an 0-2 fastball from Anthony Bass into the seats in right-center. Cincinnati won for the sixth time in eight games. It began the day in a tie with San Diego for the second NL wild card . . . Adam Wainwright allowed two hits in eight masterful innings and Paul Goldschmidt hit his 19th homer of the season to lead the St. Louis Cardinals over the Pittsburgh Pirates, 3-0. The Cardinals snapped a two-game skid and kept the Pirates from earning their first series sweep of the season. They remain the only team in the majors without one. Wainwright (12-7) threw 106 pitches and retired his final 11 hitters. The 39-year-old righthander struck out nine and did not walk a batter in improving to 20-7 lifetime against Pittsburgh. He hasn’t permitted a run in his past 19 innings against the Pirates and has won his last seven decisions against them.