For the first time since Detroit’s 1934 and 1935 pennant winning seasons, the Tigers are headed to the playoffs for a second straight year. The Tigers clinched the AL Central title with their 6-to-3 win in Kansas City. And Detroit third baseman Miguel Cabrera helped his chase for the Triple Crown by going 4-for-5 with a solo home run. The Tigers start the playoffs at Comerica Park with games one and two in Detroit on Saturday and Sunday in a best of 5 division series with their opponent yet to be determined. Cabrera's homer came during a five-run sixth inning that was capped by Gerald Laird's three-run double, and the Tigers popped the champagne to celebrate a timely two-week run.
On September 18th, the White Sox led the Central Division by three games, but their 2-and-10 swoon, coupled with Detroit winning nine of its last 13, has the Tigers in the playoffs for the 14th time in franchise history. Rick Porcello pitched shutout ball into the sixth inning to earn the victory while Jose Valverde closed out the win and his 35th save with a scoreless ninth.
Cabrera leads all American Leaguers in batting average, .329, and RBI’S, 137, and moved one home run ahead of the Ranger’s Josh Hamilton with his 44th, inching closer to becoming the first Triple Crown winner since Carl Yastrzemski of the Red Sox accomplished the feat in 1967. Cabrera eclipsed the 200-hit plateau for the first time in his career while Prince Fielder had four of Detroit's 14 hits last night.
The Tigers wrap up regular season play against the Royals tonight and tomorrow night. The White Sox, who were eliminated from the playoff race last night, remained 3 games behind Detroit after beating the Indians 11-to-0 in Cleveland.