"I think if I can get him off his feet one more day, we can pretty much be over the hump with that [sore left] ankle," Leyland said before a 4-3 loss to the Yankees. "It's still pretty sore. So that's why I had to make that adjustment."
Cabrera went 1-for-4 against the Yankees.
The sore ankle came from a foul ball off Cabrera's left shin, which caused drainage to his ankle. He was the DH on Sunday against Cleveland in a similar scenario, with a day game after a night game.
That game featured a lefty starter for the Indians and a righty-loaded lineup for the Tigers. Thursday, the Tigers faced right-hander Hiroki Kuroda, and Leyland used an outfield composed of all left-handed hitters -- Quintin Berry in center, Andy Dirks in left and Brennan Boesch in right.
Austin Jackson got a day out of the starting lineup for the first time since he returned from the disabled list two months ago, though he pinch-ran in the sixth and later batted.
"He's getting a well-deserved rest," Leyland said. "We're going to Texas. It's going to be hot. I'm getting Berry in there. He's done a good job."
Jackson's 11-game hitting streak was snapped, and he went 3-for-15 with six strikeouts over the four-game set with the Yankees.