DETROIT -- The Tigers kept Miguel Cabrera out of their lineup in Wednesday's 11-1 win over the Nationals as he recuperated from the left abdominal strain he aggravated Tuesday night.
Cabrera told MLB.com Wednesday morning that he was feeling better than he did Tuesday night, when he had to leave the game against the Nationals in the eighth inning. By sitting him ahead of Thursday's scheduled off-day, however, the Tigers give him two days of rest to get him ready for their divisional clash with the White Sox beginning Friday night at Comerica Park.
Cabrera said "maybe" when asked about playing Friday.
"I feel better," Cabrera said after Wednesday's game. "Hopefully we can get this out of the way quick and try to be 100 percent Friday."
Cabrera was scheduled to take part in Dancing with the All-Stars, a Thursday night fundraiser benefiting Jack's Place for Autism. Cabrera said he'll attend and might sing, but he won't dance.
Cabrera has been dealing with aches and pains for about a month, from a left hip flexor and sore back to the abdominal issue. The injuries seemingly cooled Cabrera a bit from the torrid pace of the season's first three months.
The abdominal strain is something that shouldn't keep Cabrera off the field long term, but might force him to miss a day here and there when he aggravates it. Moving side to side shouldn't be a problem, but charging in and running at full speed -- as he did on Chad Tracy's infield grounder on Tuesday -- could.
"It's the type of thing that's something he's going to feel, and as long as he's able to work through that, he's OK," head trainer Kevin Rand said. "If he can't, he'll take a breather."
Cabrera finished July batting .288 for the month with seven home runs and 17 RBIs. He continues to lead the Majors with a .359 average on the season, while his 99 RBIs had him tied with Baltimore's Chris Davis entering the day. Cabrera's 32 home runs ranked second behind Davis.
In all three categories, Cabrera is actually ahead of his pace from his Triple Crown numbers last year. Whether he can keep on that pace at less than full strength will be something to follow over the final two months of the season.
Ramon Santiago, who moved over from second base to replace Cabrera at third Tuesday night, started in his place Wednesday against Nationals left-hander Gio Gonzalez. Santiago had a two-run double, walked twice and scored twice in the win.
Jose Iglesias, acquired late Tuesday night in a three-way trade from Boston for Avisail Garcia and Brayan Villarreal, has shown he can play third as well. His availability there, however, depends on Jhonny Peralta's status once Major League Baseball completes its Biogenesis investigation.
Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. Read Beck's Blog and follow him on Twitter @beckjason. Bobby Nightengale is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.