Detroit Tigers third baseman Miguel Cabrera had the chance to play ninth-inning hero for the fourth time in the last week Tuesday night, but was unable to come through and may have injured himself in the process, reports Jason Beck of MLB.com.
Cabrera came up with the game on the line yet again Tuesday, representing the potential tying run with two outs in the ninth. The slugger winced in pain after swinging at the first pitch of the at-bat from Twins closer Glenn Perkins, causing some alarm in the Tigers dugout but not enough to prompt a visit from the trainer.
Cabrera eventually struck out on a foul tip to end the game, and afterwards manager Jim Leyland expressed concern about his MVP third baseman:
"That first swing, it looked like he reacted with some pain," Leyland said. "You could see it in his facial expression. I don't know what the situation is. I'll have to go check it. I could tell when he came up the steps he was hurting a little bit."
Cabrera, 30, has dealt with day-to-day abdomen, hip and back injuries this year, so it's possible that he just aggravated one of his existing ailments while swinging Tuesday night. The most likely culprit is the abdominal strain he suffered at the beginning of the month, which forced him to sit for a four-game set.
Of course, there's always the chance that Miggy is dealing with a new injury, but we won't know for sure until the Tigers make a statement on the matter.
Cabrera is demolishing the baseball yet again this season, batting an insane .359/.450/.684 with 40 home runs in 117 games. The Tigers have a fairly comfortable 5½-game lead over the Indians in the AL Central, but losing Cabrera for any period of time would still be a huge loss for the club.