Miguel Cabrera is currently physically limited by left hamstring tightness.
Left-handed pitchers have surprisingly limited the damage by the two-time reigning AL MVP all season.
The Detroit Tigers superstar is on another tear despite his injury but faces a pair of southpaws in the final two matchups of a rain-shortened series against the Chicago White Sox, with the first being John Danks on Wednesday night.
Cabrera, who hasn’t missed a game all season, exited in the sixth inning of Sunday’s 5-3 loss to Boston due to the hamstring problem. He was back in the lineup in Monday’s 6-5 defeat, going 2 for 4 with his 12th homer while being forced to serve as the designated hitter.
Before Tuesday’s game was called, manager Brad Ausmus had Cabrera – 7 for 11 with four extra-base hits over his past three games – at designated hitter and Victor Martinez at first base again.
”It’s tough to get him out of the lineup because he’s the best hitter in the game,” Ausmus said.
Cabrera’s homer Monday came off right-hander Hector Noesi. He has gone deep twice off left-handers, who are limiting him to a career-worst .241 average.
He batted an AL-best .368 against lefties last year and is a career .317 hitter versus them.
Before taking on undefeated left-hander Chris Sale on Thursday, Cabrera will go up against Danks (4-5, 4.32 ERA), the active lefty he has faced the most with a .263 average in 38 at-bats. Cabrera went 0 for 3 off Danks in a 3-1 loss April 21.
Danks earned that victory by yielding one run in 6 1-3 innings to end a six-start stretch against Detroit (33-27) in which he went 0-5 with an 8.74 ERA.
The Tigers hitter that has troubled the Austin, Texas native the most is Austin Jackson – batting .385 against Danks. Jackson has eight hits in his last 16 at-bats.
Detroit starter Justin Verlander (6-5, 4.19) is 13-3 with a 2.67 ERA in his last 17 starts against the White Sox, including 1-0 with a 3.21 ERA in two this year.
The right-hander owns a 6.75 ERA over his last five outings, losing for the third time in that span when he gave up six runs over seven innings Thursday in a 7-3 defeat to Toronto.
Numerous White Sox hitters have awful averages against him, including Paul Konerko (.172), Alejandro De Aza (.192), Adam Dunn (.200) and Gordon Beckham (.206).
Jose Abreu is 2 for 6 with a homer off Verlander and came up big Monday as Chicago (32-33) snapped a three-game slide. Abreu hit a two-run homer that capped a tiebreaking three-run fifth inning.
Adam Eaton drove in Chicago’s final run with a single in the sixth.
"South Siders, we’re grinders," Eaton said. "We’re going to try to do the little things right and grind games out. I think that was as close to a boxing match as you can get."
Detroit’s bullpen is among baseball’s worst with a 4.69 ERA. Ausmus said Joe Nathan will remain the closer despite the right-hander’s 7.04 ERA and four blown saves.
"Right now, Joe is and has been the closer the whole year," Ausmus told the Tigers’ official website. "The only times he hasn’t closed have been games that I’ve felt it was best to give him a rest. If there’s a bridge that needs to be crossed sometime down the road, I’ll cross it."