BOSTON (AP) — Chris Sale retired Miguel Cabrera on a groundout for the second out in the fifth inning, the 14th straight Tigers batter to go down quietly.

Then the Red Sox starter said something to the 2012 AL Triple Crown winner and two-time MVP as Cabrera jogged back to the dugout.

“Well, it wasn’t fun learning how to pitch in the big leagues as a starter during his Triple Crown and MVP years. I can tell you that,” Sale told reporters afterward. “But I knew that this was going to be the last time I faced him, and I just wanted to know that I have a lot of respect for him, and I obviously appreciated the competition throughout the years.”

Cabrera came to the plate 70 times against Sale, batting .288 with four homers and 19 strikeouts.

“You’re welcome, Miggie. I helped you get to the Hall of Fame,” Sale told reporters with a laugh. “You look at his career and what he’s done, I just wanted to say a little something to him and let them know that I appreciate what we’ve been through over the last few years. And kind of a tip of the cap on the way out. He’s earned it.”

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