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Tigers’ Miguel Cabrera set for finale; Guardians’ Terry Francona likely done

A legendary player will finish his career in Detroit on Sunday, and a highly accomplished manager likely will do so.

Tigers designated hitter Miguel Cabrera will play his last game, while skipper Terry Francona probably will be in the dugout for the Cleveland Guardians for the last time.

Cabrera, 40, began his major-league career with Florida in 2003 and was traded to Tigers before the 2008 season. The 12-time All-Star enters Sunday with 511 career homers and 3,173 hits.

Cabrera had a double and sacrifice fly during the Tigers’ 8-0 triumph over the Guardians on Saturday. That clinched at least a share of second place for Detroit (77-84) in the American League Central, one game ahead of Cleveland (76-85).

“I think it’s relevant this weekend,” manager A.J. Hinch said of finishing second. “I don’t know what it really tells you other than it gives you something to play for and people recognize it — including our players, staff and organization. But this will be short-lived. You either make the playoffs or you don’t.”

A sellout crowd will be on to watch Cabrera complete his storied career. He’s had four hits in the first two games of the series, including three doubles.

The organization held a pregame ceremony for him on Saturday.

“It sounded like and felt like Miggy had a good time all day … Our guys, we’ve been celebrating Miggy for six months,” Hinch said. “It’s been worth it, and it’s been fun.”

The Tigers announced Friday that Cabrera would remain in the organization as a special assistant to president of baseball operations Scott Harris.

“I love the fans and I love this city,” Cabrera said.

Although Francona hasn’t officially announced that he will retire, he is expected to do so formally soon.

Francona began his managerial career with Philadelphia in 1997 and won a pair of World Series with the Boston Red Sox in 2004 and 2007. He’s been Cleveland’s manager since the 2013 season, leading the franchise to six postseason appearances, including the 2016 World Series, which was won by the Chicago Cubs.

“It’s time,” he said in a radio interview. “My body is telling me that, my head is telling me that. And I don’t want to stay on for the wrong reasons. I hope I have too much respect for, not just the game, but for this organization to do that.

The game on Sunday also could be the last for left-hander Eduardo Rodriguez in a Tigers uniform.

Rodriguez, who will start the finale, can opt out of his contract and become a free agent during the offseason.

Rodriguez (12-9, 3.40 ERA) won his last start, tossing seven shutout innings at Oakland last Sunday. He’s dominated the Guardians in three starts this season, giving up just one run and 12 hits in 21 2/3 innings while notching three wins. He’s recorded 24 strikeouts and walked just three batters in those outings.

In seven career starts against Cleveland, he’s 5-0 with a 2.42 ERA.

He’ll be opposed by right-hander Lucas Giolito (8-14, 4.77), who is 1-3 with a 6.66 ERA in five starts for Cleveland since being claimed off waivers. Giolito made 21 starts for the Chicago White Sox and six for the Los Angeles Angels this season.

He gave up five runs in 3 1/3 innings against Cincinnati in his last outing on Tuesday.

Giolito has made 20 career starts against the Tigers, going 6-7 with a 4.63 ERA.

–Field Level Media

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