DETROIT (AP) – After another early exit by Miguel Cabrera, the Detroit Tigers aren’t exactly sure when their star will return to the lineup.
The reigning Triple Crown winner was pulled from a second straight game, this time after two innings Friday night because of irritation in his abdominal area.
“I don’t feel very good,” Cabrera said after a 7-2 win over Cleveland. “I don’t want to be specific. I don’t feel 100 percent.”
Victor Martinez doubled twice and drove in two runs as the AL Central-leading Tigers won in a game stopped after seven innings because of rain. Detroit opened a 7½-game lead over the second-place Indians.
Cabrera said he didn’t swing the bat well in batting practice, then Tigers manager Jim Leyland watched the third baseman struggle while striking out in his only at-bat.
Cabrera likely won’t go on the disabled list — he’s never been on the DL in his 11-season career — because rosters can expand on Sunday.
But the Tigers are wondering just how long they might have to sit Cabrera until the lingering strained left abdominal wall gets much better.
“I don’t have any idea on the status,” Leyland said. “All I can tell you is when you pull a guy out one night, normally he doesn’t start the next day. I don’t have any idea. I don’t really know. I just have to play it by ear, see what happens.”
Cabrera left Thursday’s game after hurting his abdomen while making an awkward slide. He has been bothered by a strained left abdominal wall for over a month and hampered by knee and shin injuries since then.
The slugger leads the majors with 130 RBIs and a .358 batting average. He also has 43 home runs.
Indians manager Terry Francona held a short meeting with his team before the game. Cleveland then lost to Detroit for the 17th time in their last 21 meetings.
“We’re all aware of what our record is,” Francona said. “We don’t go into any game not thinking we’re going to win. The reason they’re beating us is they’re good.”
Andy Dirks entered after Cabrera left and got two hits and scored twice.
Rick Porcello (11-7) allowed two runs and five hits in 5 2-3 innings, walking two and striking out three. He was replaced by Al Alburquerque with the bases loaded and two out in the sixth.
Alburquerque walked Asdrubal Cabrera to force in a run and make it 5-2, but then got Yan Gomes on a grounder. Drew Smyly and Bruce Rondon combined to pitch a scoreless seventh as each allowed a hit.
Zach McAllister (7-8) gave up five runs and six hits in 3 2-3 innings.
Cleveland took a 1-0 lead in the first on a spectacular double play started by Detroit shortstop Jose Iglesias.
With runners on first and third and none out, Asdrubal Cabrera hit a one-hop liner that Iglesias snared with a dive to his right. He then made the throw to second baseman Omar Infante while still on the ground and rolling over.
“The kid made one of the best plays I’ve ever seen. We’ve got runners on first and third and none out, then that,” Francona said. “We got a run out of it. But we would have had still had two on and none out … that hurt.”
The Tigers tied it in the second on Don Kelly’s sacrifice fly.
Detroit scored four in the third to take a 5-1 lead. Austin Jackson singled in a run and Martinez hit a bases-loaded, two-run double that eluded center fielder Michael Bourn, who lost the ball in the twilight.
“I saw it off the bat, I knew it was coming to me. From there, I didn’t see it,” Bourn said. “Obviously, I was pretty far away from it. … That was on me, I take the blame.”
NOTES: Rondon’s first warmup pitch sailed over the head of catcher Alex Avila and bounced off the backstop. … Martinez in 15 for 24 (.625) in his last six games. .. The pitching matchup for Saturday night’s second game of the series is LHP Scott Kazmir (7-6, 4.25) for Cleveland against RHP Anibal Sanchez (11-7, 2.61) for Detroit.
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