Bad hop forces Cabrera out of game

Bad hop forces Cabrera out of game

DETROIT -- Tigers first baseman Miguel Cabrera exited Friday's game against the D-backs with dizziness after the fourth inning. Cabrera was injured when attempting to field a ground ball in the second inning. He went down to scoop the grounder, but it took a hop and hit him in the groin. He was charged with an error on the play.

"Miguel got hit where it's not very comfortable and was dizzy," Tigers manager Jim Leyland said. "I just didn't want to take any chances."

Leyland said he expects to have Cabrera back in the starting lineup Saturday.

Catcher Gerald Laird, who was listed as starting on Friday afternoon, was a late scratch. He missed the game with a stiff neck. He was listed as day-to-day.

Leyland said Laird's neck had been sore for several days, but never so sore that he couldn't play. Actually, Leyland thinks it might have helped from the plate.

"It worked out pretty good the other night, because he didn't pull off the ball," Leyland said. "He got three hits. The other day it was playable, and he was able to stay on the ball real good, because he wasn't able to move his neck. That sounds corny, but I'm dead serious. I think it helped him a little bit. But tonight it got so bad he couldn't hardly move."

Joining Cabrera and Laird on the bench was center fielder Austin Jackson, who missed his fourth straight game after experiencing back spasms and exiting early in Sunday's game against the Pirates. He has experienced similar back spasms in the past and doesn't expect to miss too many more games.

"I don't think there's a reason to rush it if it's not feeling right," Jackson said. "It's one of those things where it needs time to heal. There isn't really a rush. It's a long season."

The injuries left Leyland with very few options on the bench Friday. Luckily, third baseman Brandon Inge hit a go-ahead triple in the eighth to prevent potential extra innings.

"We were pretty short tonight, without Jackson," Leyland said. "We were in a bind really. When you take Miguel out, you only really have one player left. You are going to play four or five innings with one player, and that's not real comfortable."