DETROIT -- Thirteen years to the day after Miguel Cabrera hit his first home run, in his first Major League at-bat, he hit one of his farthest -- at least this season -- and his first to the concourse at Comerica Park.By the time Cabrera's 423rd career home run was
DETROIT -- Thirteen years to the day after Miguel Cabrera hit his first home run, in his first Major League at-bat, he hit one of his farthest -- at least this season -- and his first to the concourse at Comerica Park.
By the time Cabrera's 423rd career home run was done traveling, the two-run drive in Monday's 8-7 win over the Mariners was out of the ballpark on a hop, headed for the streets of downtown Detroit before a fan tracked it down. It was a nice gift for the fan, and a memorable anniversary for Cabrera.
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Cabrera connected on a 92-mph fastball from Seattle starter Nathan Karns. But instead of being powered by Cabrera's usual opposite-field power, this one was pulled, and with authority. The ball left Cabrera's bat at 112 mph, according to Statcast™, at a 28-degree angle into the warm summer air.
"That went right over us," said Anibal Sanchez, who was sitting in the bullpen at the time.
The view from the dugout was a little better.
"A lot of pale faces, I guess," Justin Upton said. "Guys were just in awe. That ball, off the bat, you didn't know when it was going to land. He's hit a few like that. It's pretty impressive."
The easy Cabrera swing hid the momentum behind it. The ball kept carrying toward the deepest part of the park yet left little doubt that it was headed out. The only question was how far it would go. The ball hit the concourse, between the Al Kaline statue and the giant center-field fountain, and bounced.
"That was probably the farthest I've seen here," manager Brad Ausmus said. "I can't think of one that was farther. I've seen farther in [batting practice], but never in a game."
Statcast™ estimated the drive at 454 feet. For both distance and velocity, it was Cabrera's second-longest drive of the season.
Cabrera is now tied with Adrian Beltre for 49th on baseball's all-time home run list. Only Alex Rodriguez, Albert Pujols and David Ortiz have more among active players.
Karns, meanwhile, became the 292nd pitcher to surrender a Cabrera home run.
Cabrera began his big league career with the Marlins on June 20, 2003, hitting a walk-off home run off Al Levine in the 11th inning for his first Major League hit.
"He's got a bookshelf of trophies," Ausmus said, "and a lot of guys kind of look at him as the offensive player on this team, and one of the best offensive players in the history of the game. It's a little bit of weight to carry, but he's done it for 11, 12 years now, and tonight was just another example of how much we count on him."
Or, as Upton put it, "Pretty dang good."
Jason Beck has covered the Tigers for MLB.com since 2002. Read Beck's Blog, follow him on Twitter @beckjason and listen to his podcast.