Miggy blasts first homer for career hit No. 2,000
Slugger's torrid pace through 12 seasons astounds teammates, manager
DETROIT -- Miguel Cabrera isn't accustomed to home-run droughts, not that two games without a long ball could be considered a drought to any other player.
And yet, before Friday's 10-4 win over Baltimore, he wondered when his first homer of the year would come -- as if it were mid-May and not the first week of April.
Such is life for Cabrera, who slugged a two-run shot in the eighth that also made him the seventh-fastest player in big league history to reach 2,000 hits.
"Eventually, you run out of adjectives to describe how great of a hitter he is, not just in the context of today's game, but in the context of the history of baseball," Detroit manager Brad Ausmus said. "I've only been here for a short period of time. I'm already running out of words to describe him."
Cabrera, 30, became the fifth player ever to collect 2,000 hits, 300 homers and 1,200 runs batted in through his first 12 seasons, according to ESPN's Stats and Information Department. He went 4-for-5 on the afternoon, adding three singles to the moonshot off Ryan Webb that landed in the first row of the left-field seats, behind the Tigers' bullpen.
"I'm sitting here taking notes every day," said Rajai Davis, who may have contributed to Cabrera's trepidation over his homerless start to the season by going deep himself in the fourth inning Friday.
Davis, who has never hit more than eight home runs in a season, added, tongue-in-cheek: "If I could just match him toe to toe, it'd be nice."
Cabrera is the ninth player shy of his 31st birthday to reach 2,000 hits. The others to accomplish that feat are Ty Cobb, Rogers Hornsby, Mel Ott, Hank Aaron, Joe Medwick, Jimmie Foxx, Robin Yount and Alex Rodriguez.
"You tip your hat to him," Baltimore starter Miguel Gonzalez said. "It's a tough lineup, no matter what."
Tough even when Cabrera is mired in a two-game "slump," the Tigers may be impossible to go up against when he is hitting and the rest of the Detroit lineup is on as it was Friday. The Tigers clubbed 17 hits, more than they racked up on all but six occasions last season.
Rookie third baseman Nick Castellanos, who scored Austin Jackson on a double in the second inning, said he would tell his kids one day about the time he notched his first career RBI on the same day Cabrera collected his 2,000th hit.
"We've got to count on everybody here," Cabrera said. "We know we're not going to win games with one guy."
But if ever a team could do so, it would be with the player to whom two games without a homer felt like an eternity.
"I hope everyone understands how special it is," catcher Alex Avila said.
Matt Slovin is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.