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Tigers prep for playoffs by blanking Royals

Oct 4, 2012 - 3:50 AM Kansas City, MO (Sports Network) - Detroit won the final game of the season against Kansas City, 1-0, but the real story of the night was Detroit third baseman Miguel Cabrera.

Cabrera became the first player in 45 years to win a Triple Crown, as he finished the season with a batting average of .330 along with 44 home runs and 139 RBI. He finished tops in the AL in all three categories while leading the majors in home runs and RBI.

It's the 14th time in major league history that a player has accomplished the feat.

"It's really an unbelievable feeling right now," said Cabrera. "To be out here everyday and do my job is great, but winning this feels good. I don't know how to explain it, all I wanted to do was focus on winning games and doing the best I could."

He went 0-for-2 on Wednesday and exited after striking out in the fourth inning. Cabrera got a standing ovation from the Kauffman Stadium crowd as he departed and came out for a curtain call.

Cabrera became the first player to take home the Triple Crown since Carl Yastrzemski turned the trick in 1967 with the Boston Red Sox. The Hall of Famer hit .326 with 44 homers and 121 RBI that season and won his first and only AL MVP.

Austin Jackson drove in the only run of the game for the Tigers (88-74), who won the AL Central for the second straight year on Tuesday and will host Oakland on Saturday to begin the ALDS.

Max Scherzer pitched four innings for Detroit and gave up just three hits. Luis Marte (1-0) got the win after he pitched 3 1/3 innings and gave up just two hits and two walks with two strikeouts.

Alcides Escobar and Johnny Giavotella each had two hits for the Royals (72-90), who finished a ninth straight losing season. Luis Mendoza (8-10) gave up the one run on six hits over seven innings.

"He had a real nice year for us and pitched a great game for us," said Royals manager Ned Yost about Mendoza. "We just couldn't get any runs for him tonight."

Cabrera was the final out of the first inning as he flied out to center then he struck out to start the fourth before departing.

Detroit scored the only run of the game in the fifth as Omar Infante led off with a single, stole second and third before coming home on a Jackson double.

Jeff Francoeur flied out with the bases loaded and two outs in the fifth and the Royals left two men on base in the sixth.

The Royals were set down by Luke Putkonen in the ninth for the first save of his career.

Game Notes

The only other Tiger to win the Triple Crown was Ty Cobb, who turned the trick in 1909 ... Detroit won 13 of the 18 games against the Royals this season ... The Royals went 37-44 at home this season while the Tigers were 38-43 on the road.