Shortstop Alcides Escobar, behind Cabrera, wasn't buying as Aoki uncorked his throw.
"I'm the cutoff guy, and I know Miggy isn't going anywhere," Escobar said. "I didn't know if Miggy was too far off, but I thought I'd tag him."
Aoki wasn't fooled either.
"I knew that he wasn't going to run, so I threw it a little toward the bag, a little closer to the bag than I usually would, and it went to the perfect spot," Aoki said.
Escobar jumped and cut off Aoki's toss and quickly slapped a tag on Cabrera's shoulder as he belatedly stepped back on second base.
"And he was out," Escobar added.
Not just yet. Umpire Tom Hallion signaled that Cabrera was safe, but Royals manager Ned Yost threw out a challenge and, sure enough, instant replay watchers in New York backed him up. The call was overturned, and Cabrera was the second out in a double play.
Cabrera looked embarrassed.
"I haven't talked to him about it yet," Tigers manager Brad Ausmus said. "Every year there's about five or 10 things that happen to a team that shouldn't happen. I kind of categorize that under things that shouldn't happen, but it did. Miggy, obviously the veteran that he is, wouldn't let it happen again."
Right after that, J.D. Martinez banged a home run. It was a solo shot but, if Cabrera had still been on base, the Tigers would've won by two runs instead of one.
Dick Kaegel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.