BALTIMORE -- Miguel Cabrera is almost universally acknowledged as one of the best young hitters in baseball. The thing is, he's been one of those young hitters for a while.
Hitting 250 homers before his 29th birthday reflects that pretty well.
It was as if the milestone snuck up on him, like he shouldn't be at that point in his career yet. But when he connected on a Josh Rupe fastball and sent it 396 feet to right-center field at Camden Yards Wednesday night, he hit 250 in his 1,195th career game.
The Tigers won the game, 7-3, and ended the Orioles' four-game win streak to start the season.
"He'll have 250 more for sure," manager Jim Leyland said. "I don't think there's any question about that. I hope I'm around to see them."
He isn't anywhere close to a record for fastest players to 250 homers in terms of games. Ryan Howard holds that mark, having hit his 250th last September in his 855th career game, breaking Ralph Kiner's previous mark of doing it in 871 games. But Howard is 3 1/2 years older than Cabrera, who became an everyday player at age 20 with the Marlins in 2003.
Kiner also hit the mark just before his 29th birthday.
Cabrera, however, doesn't appear to be big about milestones just yet.
"I don't know," he shrugged.
Cabrera was more encouraged that he was feeling strong after spending the previous couple days battling a stomach bug.
Tigers players apparently over brief illness
BALTIMORE -- The stomach bug that affected at least a couple players in the Tigers' clubhouse on Monday had seemingly subsided after a day of rest. Jose Valverde and Miguel Cabrera, both of whom spent part of Monday throwing up, said on Wednesday they felt better and were holding down food.
"We checked," Leyland said. "Some guys stayed home [from the optional workout on Tuesday] and they were still recovering. They're better today. I checked with Cabrera and Valverde, and they're all right."
Nobody else seemed to be ailing as of Wednesday afternoon.
Coke likely won't get relief against O's
BALTIMORE -- Barring an emergency, Phil Coke's return to the Tigers bullpen is done for now. Manager Jim Leyland had left open the possibility of Coke pitching an inning in relief on Wednesday night against the Orioles if needed, but he said prior to the game that he would do that only in an emergency.
Coke will make his first start of the season on Saturday against the fast-starting Royals. He pitched in two of the three games at Yankee Stadium last week, both times in a setup role in close games. Now, Leyland said, it'll be up to others to step up.
Coke indicated on Tuesday he'd have no particular trouble transitioning back to starter despite the foray back to relief. He struggled last Thursday, he said, because he thought too much about the situation.
"It's all about mindset," Coke said. "The perfect mindset is that if you don't mind, it don't matter."