DETROIT (AP) — Third baseman Miguel Cabrera is out of the starting lineup for Detroit's game against the Cleveland Indians on Saturday night.
Cabrera has been bothered by a strained left abdominal wall for more than a month. The reigning AL MVP made an early exit from each of the Tigers' last two games.
Cabrera leads the majors with a .359 average and 130 RBIs, and his 43 home runs put him four behind Baltimore's Chris Davis. He is seeking his second consecutive Triple Crown.
General manager Dave Dombrowski said doctors and trainer Kevin Rand have assured them that Cabrera could not make the injury worse by playing. Manager Jim Leyland has delivered the same message since the slugger was originally injured.
"Our primary concern with Miguel Cabrera is his health," Dombrowski said. "As much as anybody would, we'd like to see him win the home run title, RBI title or Triple Crown, but he's playing for the good of the team."
Cabrera left Thursday's win against Oakland in the fifth inning after hurting his abdomen while making an awkward slide. He was back in the lineup for Friday's game against Cleveland, but departed after two innings due to irritation of the abdominal area.
Dombrowski said Cabrera probably could play on Saturday but the decision was to give him the day off. Detroit began the day with 7½-game lead over second-place Cleveland in the AL Central.
Ramon Santiago got the start at third base against the Indians and was in the ninth slot in the lineup. Torii Hunter moved back one spot to Cabrera's usual lineup slot of third.