MIAMI (AP) - Miguel Cabrera will happily settle for a single crown. The Detroit Tigers slugger fell short in his bid to become the first player to win the Triple Crown in successive seasons. But Cabrera clinched his third batting title in a row, sitting out Sunday's regular-season finale at Miami - a no-hitter by the Marlins' Henderson Alvarez - to finish with an average of .348. Now he's headed for the playoffs with the AL Central champion Tigers. He denied any disappointment about not winning another Triple Crown. Actually, his statistics are better for 2013 than for 2012, when he was the AL MVP. His batting average, on-base percentage and slugging percentage all were higher than a year ago.
MIAMI (AP) - Henderson Alvarez pitched one of baseball's most bizarre no-hitters, celebrating in the on-deck circle when the Miami Marlins scored on a two-out wild pitch in the bottom of the ninth inning to beat the AL Central champion Detroit Tigers 1-0 Sunday. After Alvarez finished off the ninth with the game scoreless, he had to wait to see if it would become an official no-hitter. A Major League Baseball ruling in 1991 said only complete games of nine or more innings with no hits would count. The Marlins loaded the bases and with pinch-hitter Greg Dobbs at bat, Luke Putkonen threw a wild pitch that let Giancarlo Stanton score. Alvarez was on deck, and he took off his batting helmet and started to celebrate while still wearing his batting gloves. Alvarez struck out four, walked one and hit a batter on the last day of the season.
ALLEN PARK, Mich. (AP) - Calvin Johnson is trying to stay positive after Nate Burleson's injury. Burleson was coming off a big game last weekend at Washington, but he broke his arm in a car crash early Tuesday, so now the Lions will have to rely on Johnson and a number of less proven options at wide receiver. That didn't work out well last season, when Burleson hurt his leg and the Lions slumped to a 4-12 finish. Johnson doesn't sound too worried about a repeat. In fact, he's hopeful some of his teammates will benefit from bigger roles. Burleson's absence toward the end of last season didn't hurt Johnson's stats. He finished with 122 catches for a record 1,964 yards - but Detroit's offense could have used more balance. Sunday the Lions host the Bears at Ford Field with kick off at 1 p.m.
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) - Michigan State has granted Alabama's request to drop two future meetings from the schedule. The Crimson Tide asked to cancel the football games scheduled for 2016 and 2017. Alabama athletic director Bill Battle said Thursday the school made the request because of "the uncertainty of the conference football schedule in those years." The Southeastern Conference hasn't ruled out a move to a nine-game league schedule since the expansion to 14 teams. The games would have pitted Alabama coach Nick Saban against his former school. He was Michigan State's head coach from 1995-99.
DOVER, Del. (AP) - The third race in the Chase for the Championship in Sprint Cup racing is taking place this Sunday at Dover International Speedway. Matt Kenseth has won the first two races and leads the pack as the NASCAR season winds down. In last week's race at New Hampshire, he held off Gibbs Racing teammate Kyle Busch for the victory. To say the least it has been a great year for Kenseth who has a series-high seven wins. In the points standings Kenseth has a 14-point lead over Busch with Jimmie Johnson 18 back and Carl Edwards 36 off the pace.
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - Max Scherzer earned his 21st win and the Detroit Tigers clinched their third straight AL Central title, beating the Minnesota Twins 1-0 on Wednesday night. Torii Hunter's single followed a leadoff triple by Austin Jackson in the first inning, and that was all Scherzer and the Tigers needed to start the party. Scherzer gave up two singles in seven innings. Jose Veras and Drew Smyly teamed up for the eighth and Joaquin Benoit worked the ninth for his 24th save in 25 tries. A few dozen Tigers fans in attendance at Target Field cheered from their seats while the players mobbed Benoit in front of the mound after he struck out Josh Willingham to end the game.
DETROIT (AP) - Chris Kunitz had two goals and an assist to help the Pittsburgh Penguins beat the Detroit Red Wings 5-1 on Wednesday night in an exhibition game. Jussi Jokinen, Pascal Dupuis and Craig Adams also scored for Pittsburgh. Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin each had two assists, and Marc-Andre Fleury made 16 saves. Drew Miller scored for Detroit, and Petr Mrazek stopped 32 shots. Jokinen and Dupuis scored in the final 5 minutes of the first to give the Penguins a 2-0 lead. Adams made it 3-0 3:14 into the second period. Miller scored with 7:11 left in the middle period. Kunitz's first goal came with 2:35 remaining in the second and he added a power-play goal 9:28 into the third.
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - The Detroit Tigers will reinstate Jhonny Peralta from his drug suspension this weekend. General manager Dave Dombrowski said Wednesday in Minnesota that Peralta will join the AL Central leaders in Miami on Friday for a season-ending three-game series. Dombrowski said the organization has not discussed whether Peralta will be on the postseason roster. Peralta's 50-game penalty, part of Major League Baseball's investigation into the Biogenesis clinic accused of distributing banned performance-enhancing drugs, was completed Wednesday. The All-Star shortstop has been working out in left field because the Tigers acquired shortstop Jose Iglesias from Boston shortly before the ban took effect. The Tigers were short in the bullpen Wednesday. Left-hander Phil Coke was in Detroit for tests on his elbow, and righty Bruce Condon was unavailable due to soreness in his elbow.
AUBURN HILLS, Mich. (AP) - Former Detroit star Rasheed Wallace rejoined the Pistons on Wednesday as a player development coach. The team also added Henry Bibby and Maz Trakh as assistant coaches. Wallace spent five seasons with Detroit. He helped the Pistons to the 2004 championship and averaged more than 14 points in his career. He joins Bernard Smith on the player development staff. He finished his career last season with New York. Bibby spent the past five seasons on the Memphis Grizzlies' coaching staff and was an assistant for the Philadelphia 76ers under current Pistons head coach Maurice Cheeks. Trakh was an assistant coach the past three years with the Oklahoma City Thunder.
NEW YORK (AP) - New York City has been selected to host the NBA All-Star weekend in 2015, with the game played at Madison Square Garden and the slam dunk contest and other skills events held at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn. NBA Commissioner David Stern, Deputy Commissioner Adam Silver and New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg made the official announcement at a news conference Wednesday. The league has been working with the Knicks and Nets for months on the plan to split the events. The league last split sites for its midseason showcase in 2010, when the Saturday events were in the Dallas Mavericks' arena and the game was held at the Cowboys' stadium. The NBA All-Star game was last played at Madison Square Garden in 1998.