Miguel Cabrera’s 300th homer cleared the wall in center field with room to spare and sailed toward the ivy at Comerica Park.
That’s not the easiest place to retrieve a baseball, but this one should make a nice keepsake.
”Somebody got it. They got it somehow,” Detroit manager Jim Leyland said. ”They got in there and got it, and that’s his 300th, so I’m sure they’ll take care of it for him.”
Cabrera homered twice to reach another milestone in his remarkable career, and the Tigers finished a three-game sweep of the Chicago White Sox with a 6-4 victory Sunday. Detroit wrapped up a 6-1 homestand against the White Sox and Los Angeles Angels and now leads the AL Central by 1-1/2 games over Chicago. The White Sox have lost five straight.
Cabrera became the second Venezuela-born player to reach 300 home runs. Andres Galarraga hit 399.
”For my country, yes, it’s very special,” Cabrera said. ”Hopefully a lot of players can follow from Venezuela and try hitting 300 more.”
Quintin Berry and Brennan Boesch also homered for Detroit to help rookie Jacob Turner (1-1) earn his first career win. Four relievers pitched for the Tigers, with Joaquin Benoit working a perfect ninth for his second save of the year.
Detroit closer Jose Valverde has been dealing with a balky back and did not pitch.
Philip Humber (4-5) allowed six runs in three innings. Alex Rios and Kevin Youkilis homered for the White Sox.
The Tigers have won 16 of 21.
Turner, Detroit’s rookie right-hander, bounced back after giving up seven runs in two innings in his last start against the Angels. He went 5 1-3 innings, allowing three runs and seven hits. He struck out three without a walk before being lifted after Rios hit a two-run homer in the sixth.
”I think the biggest difference is just being more aggressive, attacking the hitters and not really worrying about who might be at the plate, but just going right after them,” Turner said.
Cabrera and the Detroit offense provided plenty of support. After an RBI single in the top of the first by Rios, the Tigers scored three runs in the bottom half before Humber retired a batter. Berry’s two-run homer gave Detroit the lead, and Cabrera followed with a high drive that cleared the fence just to the left of center field for home run No. 299.
”I picked the wrong day to get balls up in the zone,” Humber said. ”The stuff was there, but when you are facing that team, and especially that team when they are hot, your stuff doesn’t matter if you leave it up.”
Cabrera’s second homer, in the third inning, was even longer. It ended up around where a camera platform is set up beyond the wall in center. A Tigers spokesman, citing ESPN Stats and Info, said it was estimated at 457 feet.
”Dude has some of the most ridiculous pop I’ve ever seen,” Berry said. ”His smooth swing, to be able to go that high up and dead center, it’s amazing. It’s fun to watch. He does it in BP and he does it in the game. It’s unreal.”
It was Cabrera’s 23rd homer of the year, and he became the 14th player to reach 300 before turning 30, according to STATS, LLC. Cabrera was 29 years, 95 days old Sunday. When Hank Aaron was that age, he had 309 home runs, according to STATS. Barry Bonds had 222 by that age.
Boesch added a two-run shot later in the third to make it 6-1. Humber allowed seven hits and a walk with no strikeouts. He’s 3-5 with a 7.55 ERA since pitching a perfect game at Seattle on April 21.
The White Sox chipped away after Humber was taken out. Rios’ hit was ruled a homer after umpires consulted replay footage, and Youkilis hit a solo shot off Phil Coke in the seventh.
Octavio Dotel, the third Detroit reliever, came on with one out and a man on in the seventh and retired all five hitters he faced, with four strikeouts.
The White Sox were swept in a series for the first time all season.
NOTES: Coke was pitching for the first time since his wife gave birth to a baby girl. Mickenzie LouAnn was born Saturday morning. … The Tigers could afford to go deep into their bullpen with an off day coming up Monday. Chicago hosts Minnesota, with RHP Gavin Floyd (7-8) returning from a problem with his throwing elbow to start against Minnesota LHP Francisco Liriano (3-9).