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New York — Miguel Cabrera, before Friday's game, was asked what he thought of Alex Rodriguez — who was about to become the third player in history with at least 600 home runs and 3,000 hits.

"Wow," he said. "And 2,000 RBI. Wow. That's special."

Sure enough, after the game, after Rodriguez had indeed joined Willie Mays and Henry Aaron in the ultra-exclusive 3,000-600 club, Cabrera gave him a congratulatory hug.

"It is so nice to do this against great competitors that I have a lot of respect for," Rodriguez said. "Guys like David Price, Victor Martinez and Miguel Cabrera. Cabrera came over and gave me a hug. Twenty years from now, that's what I am going to remember about this night — that and the way the fans and my teammates enjoyed it."

He got the milestone hit, a home run in the first inning, off a 95-mph fastball from Justin Verlander.

"Justin and I have had some epic battles over the years," Rodriguez said. "He's won most of them."

Not true. Rodriguez is 11 for 38 against Verlander in the regular season, with five homers. Verlander has gotten the best of Rodriguez in the postseason.

"That's true," Verlander said. "But that doesn't help me today."

chris.mccosky@detroitnews.com

twitter.com/cmccosky

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