NEW YORK – Imagine what Miguel Cabrera might be doing if he were completely healthy.
The reigning AL MVP hit a mammoth homer, Rick Porcello enjoyed a happy homecoming and the Detroit Tigers polished off a three-game sweep of the New York Mets with an 11-3 victory Sunday.
Cabrera’s two-run drive was his 42nd long ball of the season and 10th in 19 games. He went 3-for-4 with a walk, raising his batting average to a major league-best .360, and finished the series 7-for-13 with two homers and five RBI.
“It’s a lot of fun to watch,” Porcello said. “You’ve got to remind yourself not to take what he’s done for granted, because he’s just that special of a player and he makes it look so easy day in and day out. But, he’s unbelievable. He’s the best hitter on the planet, hands down.”
Hobbled by nagging injuries to his hip, side and knees, Cabrera jogged slowly down the line all weekend. When he tried to dive for a ball at third base Sunday, it certainly appeared to hurt.
That hardly slowed him at the plate, though.
“He’s the best I’ve seen, by far,” teammate Andy Dirks said. “The things that he can do, you just sit back and say, ‘Wow.’ ”
Dirks put Detroit ahead with a two-run homer, and the AL Central leaders improved to 12-5 in interleague play. They have won 34 of 49 overall, the best mark in the American League since July 2.
Porcello (10-7) pitched seven innings of four-hit ball before the Tigers broke it open with a seven-run ninth. Dirks drew a bases-loaded walk during the outburst, which included RBI singles by Victor Martinez and Ramon Santiago.
Travis d’Arnaud hit his first major league homer for the Mets, who have scored five runs during a four-game slide. They were outhit 33-7 in the final two games of the series.
“The Tigers aren’t in the position they’re in without having an outstanding offense. They pitched us tough. We didn’t get a lot of guys on,” New York manager Terry Collins said. “Right now we are not swinging the bats very well. The Tigers played great and we didn’t.”
Dillon Gee (9-9) lost for only the third time in 16 starts. He entered with a 2.27 ERA since May 30, the fourth-best mark in the majors during that span.
The 24-year-old Porcello, who grew up a Mets fan nearby in New Jersey, left 17 tickets for family and friends. He didn’t disappoint them, either, bouncing back from a loss to Minnesota and moving to 6-1 in his past nine outings.
“It was definitely a little special feeling,” Porcello said. “I’m glad we got a win for them.”
The right-hander was hit hard in his only other start against the Mets on June 28, 2011, in Detroit. He pitched at Yankee Stadium a little more than two weeks ago, taking a no-decision in Detroit’s 4-3 defeat.
With the victory by Porcello, all five members of the Tigers’ rotation have reached double digits in wins.
The Tigers were trailing by one when Martinez singled off Gee to start the sixth. Dirks, who had three of Detroit’s 13 hits Saturday off All-Star ace Matt Harvey, drove an 0-1 slider to right-center for his eighth home run.