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Miguel Cabrera is the eighth player in the history of the franchise to reach 2,000 goals with the Detroit Tigers. Here is the team̵

7;s 2K hit club.

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Miguel Cabrera hit his ankles with manager Ron Gardenhire when he left Detroit Tiger dugout for a curtain. He turned to the seats, albeit without fans due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and celebrated his 2000th goal with the ball.

He gave one last wave before fading into the dugout, similar to what he had done to reporters since he last spoke at spring training. But in a statement after Sunday’s victory, Cabrera acknowledged his team’s record of 16-16 in the short season of 60 games.

“I’m happy to have scored 2,000 goals with the Tigers and most importantly, we’re winning games,” said Cabrera, who is 12-for-25 with one homer and nine RBIs in his last seven games. “We are growing as a team and that can be seen on the pitch.”

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General Manager Al Avila also noticed. He had options to exchange key figures from this year’s team, but decided not to. He set the deadline for trading on Monday at 4pm with just one move – giving outfielder Cameron Maybin to the Chicago Cubs in exchange for 25-year-old midfielder Zack Short, ranked 21st on the Cubs’ farm system.

“If this deal is not there, frankly, we like our team,” Avila said last week, “and we will keep our team together. We will keep trying to win.”

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In a way, he did.

Avila’s return for 33-year-old Maybin wasn’t much, but it was expected. Short was new to Triple-A Iowa in 2019, where he hit .211 with six home runs, 17 RBIs, 21 walks and 50 shots in 41 games.

He has not stood out in his four-year professional career and does not project as a long-term part of Detroit’s recovery.

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However, according to the Tigers, they did not participate in talks about the second short Jonathan Shop, and Avila held the leftist Daniel Norris, who won interest from the Tampa Bay Race. While these elections may have had more to do with the uncertain market or unwanted returns, the .500 record affected Monday’s approach.

And for a person who refuses to speak in the age of Zoom press conferences, Cabrera’s statement could not be more correct: “The Tigers in 2020” are not the same team that went 47-114 in 2019.

The Tigers are in a position to make an extended postseason game of 16 teams, just two games from eighth and last place in the American League. Gardenhire believes this can happen, as does Schoop. Even rookie Casey Mize can feel a build-up of momentum: five straight wins and three straight wins in a series against record-breaking opponents.

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So Avila keeps the team together.

“Our goal is to try to get into the playoffs,” Gardenhir said on Sunday. “I said that and my people laughed. Now all of a sudden we’re back to .500 and everyone wants to talk about it. I say it all the time. Anything can happen in this short season and there are a lot of openings in these things. If we play this way, we will have a shot at the end. “

The return to the winning streak from a series of losses from nine games began on August 20 at the Guaranteed Rate Field clubhouse in Chicago, where the Tigers were swept away by the terrifying White Sox. Cabrera, hunter Austin Romin and Maybin assembled the team to blame the difficulties.

Detroit responded by defeating the Cleveland Indians the next day to take 20 losses against them and taking two of three in the series. After winning two more against the Chicago Cubs, the Tigers had to stay focused after Thursday’s boycotted game with the Minnesota Gemini and Friday’s overtime.

They swept Saturday’s double and won 3-2 in Sunday’s race, in which four rackets – Tyler Alexander, Joe Jimenez, Buck Farmer and Gregory Soto – threw six countless passes.

“We know we’re talented,” Alexander said Sunday. “And we know we have a chance to do something special and shock a lot of people. We have this mentality, even when we’re not winning, so that’s what helps us get it back when we come across a little track.”

The sharp twist is reinforced by the flashes of Cabrera’s MVP seasons, when he often made households from opposite fields, finding holes inside and doubling up against the wall in the outer gaps seems easy.

Due to Cabrera’s improvement, it’s easy to forget about Schoop, who has a year-long career for the Tigers on a one-year contract, hitting a .303 with eight home runs and 19 RBIs.

Schoop should serve as a catalyst for the playoff race in which the Tigers have suddenly entered. He has made postseason in four of his seven seasons, reaching ALCS in 2014 and NLCS in 2018.

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More importantly, he knows what it takes to win – something not many on the 2020 list can say.

After watching Cabrera’s milestone and witnessing the Tigers’ growth through conversations about racial injustice and ground performance, Shaw believes he is on his way to making the season for the fifth time in his career.

“It’s an honor to play with him,” Shupp told Cabrera. “He’s the best player I’ve ever played with, so it’s an honor to be here and see all the records he’s going to break. You know, trying to win with him, trying to push for the playoffs and take the ring. “

Evan Petzold is an intern for sports reporting at the Detroit Free Press. Contact him at epetzold@freepress.com or follow him on Twitter @EvanPetzold. Free Press launches a new digital subscription model. Here’s how you can access our most exclusive content from the Detroit Tigers.