DETROIT Prince Fielder waved his arms frantically, gleefully calling off his teammates while the crowd at Comerica Park roared.
From the moment the big first baseman signed his massive contract in January, an entire city had been waiting for a chance to celebrate. After another dazzling effort by Detroit's starting pitchers and another soaring home run by Miguel Cabrera, Fielder caught the final out to send the Tigers to the World Series with a sweep of the New York Yankees, no less.
"There's still a long way to go, but this is an awesome feeling," Fielder said.
Max Scherzer capped a stellar stretch for Detroit's rotation, and the Tigers won their second pennant in seven years by beating the Yankees 8-1 Thursday for a four-game sweep of the American League Championship Series.
Cabrera and Jhonny Peralta hit two-run homers in a four-run fourth inning against CC Sabathia, who was unable to prevent the Yankees from getting swept in a postseason series for the first time in 32 years.
"Yeah, we did it," Cabrera said. "It's an unbelievable feeling. Four more wins, guys, four more wins."
Scherzer took a no-hit bid into the sixth inning against a starting lineup that was again without Alex Rodriguez, who flied out with two on in the sixth as a pinch hitter.
Austin Jackson added a solo homer in the seventh for Detroit, and Peralta hit another homer in the eighth.
The game ended with Fielder, Detroit's $214 million acquisition, catching Jayson Nix's popup as the Tigers spilled onto the field to celebrate.
Detroit won its 11th American League pennant and first since 2006. The Tigers have five days off before the World Series starts Wednesday at defending champion St. Louis or 2010 winner San Francisco.
The Yankees, with a big league-high $222 million payroll, hit .188 in the postseason a record low for a team that played at least seven games and .157 in the ALCS. New York went quietly in the ninth inning, with the Comerica crowd chanting "Sweep!" while the last three batters were retired in order.
Detroit outhit New York 16-2 in the finale and 46-22 in the series. The Tigers' starters are 4-1 with a 1.02 ERA in this postseason.
New York didn't lead in the series the only other time that's happened to the Yankees was when they were swept by the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 1963 World Series.
Without a World Series title since 1984, Detroit lost to Texas in last year's ALCS, lost slugger Victor Martinez to a season-ending knee injury in January and quickly replaced his offense by signing Fielder. The excitement of that bold acquisition subsided a bit when the Tigers struggled to a 26-32 start in the A.L. Central, but they overtook the Chicago White Sox in the final 10 days of the regular season and won the division with an 88-74 record, matching the Cardinals for the fewest wins among the 10 playoff teams.
"I just reminded everybody when we took our punches all year, 'You know what? Let's just wait till the end, and then if we have underachieved, I will be the first one to admit it,' " said manager Jim Leyland, who is in the final year of his contract. "So hopefully we've quieted some doubters now. The guys just stepped it up when we had to. We caught a couple breaks when the White Sox couldn't win a couple of games they needed to win."
In the postseason, Detroit's rotation has been stellar. Scherzer, Justin Verlander, Anibal Sanchez and Doug Fister allowed only two earned runs against the Yankees. New York was shut out once and totaled six runs.
"Unbelievable. It's why we're here right now because of our pitching," Cabrera said. "Wow!"
Scherzer allowed a run and two hits in 5 2/3 innings in the finale, struck out 10 and walked two.
"I really had my changeup and my slider going," he said. "When I can combine that with my fastball, that's what makes me effective."