Cabrera, playing the last three games of his career, doubled in his first two at-bats to raise his total to 626, breaking a tie for 13th place and moving two ahead of Hank Aaron. Cabrera singled in the seventh for his 3,173rd hit.
Cal Quantrill drew thunderous boos when he hit Cabrera in the third inning, although Cabrera simply jogged to first and engaged in his normal laughing conversations with first baseman Josh Naylor and the Guardians dugout.
Quantrill (4-7) gave up eight hits and four runs while striking out three in five innings to pick up the win, and Emmanuel Clase allowed a ninth-inning homer to Spencer Torkelson before finishing the game for his 44th save.
“Cal slugged through five,” Guardians manager Terry Francona said. “It wasn't easy at times. I think he got into a rut where he was throwing the split so much that he lost the feel for his other pitches, but he got through it.”
Quantrill only made two starts between May 30 and Sept. 1 due to shoulder issues.
“It’s been a weird year for me, and coming off the injury, I don’t think the command is where I’d like it to be,” he said. “I did have a good September, but I think I’m a better pitcher than I showed tonight.”
Tyler Freeman hit a three-run homer in Cleveland's four-run third inning.
The Guardians scored three runs in the second inning with the aid of a key defensive mistake.
Ramón Laureano walked and stole second. Joey Wentz (3-13) retired the next two batters and appeared to be out of the inning when Brayan Rocchio lined to left. Akil Baddoo misplayed it and it went off his glove for a run-scoring double.
Bo Naylor followed with a two-run homer.
Zach McKinstry cut the gap to 3-2 with a two-run homer in the bottom of the inning, but the Guardians scored four in the third.
“After Akil lost that ball in the lights, it felt unlucky, but then it went to feeling like a punch in the stomach,” Tigers manager A.J. Hinch said. “We got right back in it, but they got Freeman's homer and it seemed like that inning was never going to end.”
Parker Meadows hit a two-run triple in the fourth.
Torkelson led off the ninth with his 31st homer, bringing up Cabrera who received a standing ovation from the crowd of 30,053, but he grounded out on the first pitch.
“Just being able to get to him in the ninth was awesome,” Hinch said. “The most likely outcome is that is his last ninth-inning at-bat, and it was an incredible experience.”
Cabrera's two hits gave him 897 multi-hit games, one more than Rod Carew for 17th place in major league history. The two doubles gave him 93 career extra-base hits against Cleveland -- the most by an active player. José Abreu is second at 63.
He also got a job on Friday, as the team announced he will serve as a special assistant to team president Scott Harris -- a player-development role originally designed by Dave Dombrowski for Willie Horton and Al Kaline. Horton, Alan Trammell, Kirk Gibson, Jim Leyland and Lance Parrish currently serve in the job.
Guardians manager Terry Francona, who is also retiring at the end of the season, received a video tribute from Hinch after the top of the first inning, followed by a standing ovation from the crowd.
RHP Triston McKenzie (0-2, 6.17) will pitch for Cleveland on Saturday. The Tigers will use a series of relievers, and Hinch didn't rule out making roster additions after needing so many bullpen innings on Friday.
AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/mlb
- Home Plate Umpire - John Libka
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- Second Base Umpire - John Bacon
- Third Base Umpire - James Hoye