BALTIMORE — Miguel Cabrera hit his 499th career home run in the fifth inning of the Detroit Tigers’ 5-2 win against the Baltimore Orioles on Wednesday night.
Cabrera connected off Matt Harvey to give the Tigers a 1-0 lead. The homer drew some cheers from the crowd at Camden Yards, and Cabrera gave a little pump of his right fist when the ball cleared the wall in left-center field.
He also had two singles earlier in the game, plus a sacrifice fly in the sixth. He grounded out in the ninth in his final at-bat.
The Detroit slugger has 12 home runs this season. He hadn’t gone deep since Aug. 3. The Tigers have one more game on this road trip, and there was some thought Cabrera might sit out with No. 500 on the horizon.
“He’s playing,” manager AJ Hinch said, before he was even asked. “I’ve talked to him, and we’re not going to test baseball fate. We really want him to hit it whenever he’s supposed to hit it. Maybe it’s [Thursday], maybe it’s not.”
It would have been understandable if Cabrera sat out Thursday’s game, which starts at 4:05 p.m. ET on what is expected to be a steamy day in the Baltimore area. The Tigers are back home for six straight games after that.
“Everyone was hoping he can do it in Detroit, but we’ll see what happens,” teammate Jonathan Schoop said, before being told what Hinch said.
“So we hope he’ll do it [Thursday] then,” Schoop replied.
Cabrera, 38, is trying to become the 28th player in major league history — and the first Venezuelan player — to reach 500 homers. His production has fallen off considerably in recent seasons. He hasn’t hit more than a dozen homers since 2017.
But Cabrera remains a star in Detroit as he chases this milestone and the 3,000-hit mark. He’s up to 2,950 hits.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.