DETROIT -- — Miguel Cabrera took another step toward earning a 12th All-Star bid, and his first since 2016, on the merits of his play in 2022.
Cabrera hit a two-out, two-run single in the fifth inning and had a third RBI on a sacrifice fly to help the Detroit Tigers beat the Cleveland Guardians 8-2 on Wednesday, completing a four-game sweep against their AL Central rivals for the first time since 2013.
Cabrera, who early this season became the seventh player with 3,000 hits and 500 home runs, moved past Dave Winfield into a tie for 17th with Rafael Palmeiro on baseball’s all-time list with 1,835 RBI.
The 39-year-old from Venezuela might be given a spot in the Midsummer Classic on July 19 in Los Angeles by the commissioner's office based on the career he has had.
Cabrera could be on the AL roster, though, simply for his play this season. He leads the Tigers with a .308 batting average, which ranks among league leaders, and 31 RBI as perhaps the most productive player on a disappointing team.
“If the commissioner wants to add him as a legend, he's dead on," manager A.J. Hinch said. “But when you look around at the guys on our team, he’s certainly a viable candidate on his own.”
In Tuesday's 11-4 win over Cleveland, Cabrera had three hits in a game for the eighth time this year.
“Nothing he does surprises me," said Detroit outfielder Robbie Grossman, who hit a RBI triple in the seventh and scored on Cabrera's fly. “There's a reason he will be one of the greatest hitters to ever play.”
Even though there was a base open to give to Cabrera with runners on second and third in the pivotal fifth inning, manager Terry Francona said he didn't want to pitch around him.
“We were trying to get him out," Francona said.
ON THE MOUND
Tigers starter Michael Pineda (2-3) allowed two runs and five hits over five innings, then four teammates combined to pitch four innings of scoreless relief.
Cleveland’s Shane Bieber (4-4) gave up five runs on seven hits and three walks while striking out six over 5 2/3 innings.
“I was hoping to be that energy source for us and unfortunately just couldn’t do it," Bieber said. “That’s frustrating. I expect more from myself."
FLIPPING THE SCRIPT
Detroit is 7-2 against the Guardians this year and is set up to win the season series against them for the first time since 2015.
The Tigers haven't heard from lefty pitcher Eduardo Rodriguez since he went on the restricted list nearly a month ago, Detroit general manager Al Avila said.
Avila declined to say if the Tigers are attempting to void the $77 million, five-year contract that Rodriguez signed in November. Rodriguez is 1/3 with a 4.38 ERA in eight starts this season.
Rodriguez's agent, Gene Mato, didn't immediately return a message from The Associated Press seeking comment.
Guardians: 2B Andres Gimenez was not in the lineup. “We took him out (Tuesday) night because he got hit in the knee pretty hard," Francona said. “We were hoping that would help. He came in, and he’s pretty sore."
Tigers: RHP Wily Peralta went on the 15-day injured list with a strained left hamstring strain. RHP Will Vest was recalled from Triple-A Toledo and pitched the ninth.
Guardians: After a day off, Cleveland heads to Kansas City for a series that starts Friday. RHP Aaron Civale (2-5, 7.04 ERA) goes for the Guardians. The Royals haven't announced their starter.
Tigers: Detroit will be at the Chicago White Sox on Thursday night, starting a three-team, 12-game trip. The Tigers will have RHP Beau Brieske (1-6, 4.54) on the mound against Chicago RHP Dylan Cease (7-3, 2.51)
Atlanta Braves call up top prospect Vaughn Grissom to majors with Orlando Arcia put on IL
Infielder Vaughn Grissom, the top prospect in the Braves' minor league system, was called up to the majors on Wednesday with Orlando Arcia placed on the injured list.
Fantasy baseball: How strength of schedule can help you win your league
Tristan H. Cockcroft provides a look at where the best and worst offensive options may lie for the remainder of the season, based on which matchups are left on the schedule.
Fantasy baseball pitcher rankings, lineup advice for Wednesday's MLB games
Everything you need to know to place your MLB bets and set your fantasy baseball lineups for Wednesday, August 20.
Fantasy baseball forecaster: Team hitting ratings
Stay ahead of the game and optimize your fantasy baseball hitters with our forecaster, which provides a rolling 10-day outlook of every team's hitting matchups as well as the potential for stolen bases.
Fantasy baseball forecaster: Pitcher projections for the next 10 days
Keep up to date on who is pitching -- and how well they're expected to do -- with our forecaster, which provides a rolling 10-day outlook of every team's probable starting pitchers with game score projections.
The Yankees and Astros both went for it at the deadline. Which team is in better shape for October?
With both superteams well ahead of the rest of the American League pack, how did the moves they made at the trade deadline address each other?