Tigers hopeful Cabrera's injury is short-term
The good news outweighed the bad news Monday night, but left everyone wondering if that would last.
The Tigers beat the Chicago White Sox 7-3 in Chicago, Max Scherzer improved to 14-1 and Victor Martinez had a four-hit, three-RBI night but there was still a shadow cast over the night in the fifth inning.
Miguel Cabrera, who was intentionally walked in the top of the inning, appeared to grimace when he scored on Victor Martinez's two-RBI single.
Although Cabrera came out for the bottom of the inning, he left with one out. Don Kelly replaced him at third base.
Later, the team announced Cabrera had a sore left hip flexor and would be re-evaluated Tuesday. Cabrera is officially listed as day-to-day.
"He has some issues with that once in a while," manager Jim Leyland told FOX Sports Detroit's Trevor Thompson. "Sometimes they can stretch him and get him right back in. We'll just have to wait and see. He had to come out of the game, so that's usually not a good sign."
Cabrera, who missed one game before the All-Star break because of stiffness in his hip and back, had to be in serious pain to leave in the middle of the game.
Cabrera spoke to reporters in Chicago, saying, "Felt weird (coming out), but I have to take care of myself."
Cabrera leads the league with a .359 batting average and 96 RBI and is second to Baltimore's Chris Davis (37 home runs) with 31 homers.
You can't underestimate Cabrera's importance to the Tigers.
If it's a short-term issue that keeps Cabrera out a week or less, then the Tigers should be able to get by without him, especially with Martinez heating up.
Martinez is batting .425 in the month of July and has his teammates throwing around some interesting superlatives.
"That was such a sexy hit," Scherzer said of Martinez's two-RBI single in the fifth that made it 3-0. "(Chris Sale's) such a good pitcher and his slider's so nasty and I was in here watching it, he threw another slider and that was a pretty good slider and Victor did such a good job of not trying to do too much with it and hit it right back up the middle. When he was able to do that, we scored two runs and that was just a big turning point in the game."
Martinez has lifted his average 45 points in his last 20 games to .270.
"Victor is hot," Torii Hunter told Thompson. "He's the hottest thing on the planet right now."
As hot as Martinez is, he can't be Cabrera. There's only one of those.
"No concern with Miguel, he's tough," Hunter said. "For him to come out, he might have been aching a little bit. We had a lead so he probably figured, hey, let me come out and try to get some treatment and get it done. I promise, this guy's a beast, he plays every day, he has fun. So if it takes a couple days for us to have him for the long run, that's fine."
However, if it's a situation where Cabrera needs to go on the disabled list, the Tigers could be in trouble.
For now, the Tigers remain hopeful.
"We have enough talent besides him to continue to play good baseball," Scherzer told Thompson. "But at the end of the day, he's the most valuable player. He's the MVP and we need him out there if we're going to win this American League Central because if not, the Indians are very good and they can chase us down.
"It doesn't matter what the situation is, we've got to play our best baseball in the second half."