DETROIT -- Miguel Cabrera doesn't get the chance to step off the bench and play the hero very often. On Sunday, he stepped very carefully and delivered the leadoff single that sparked the game-winning rally in the 12th inning off Dylan Axelrod.
"It's unbelievable. He hasn't seen a live pitch in I don't know how many days, and gets a base hit up the middle," Rick Porcello said.
After a slow jog to first base, Cabrera was gone, lifted for pinch-runner Matt Tuiasosopo. When Cabrera's next at-bat will be is anyone's guess.
Asked about his health, Cabrera changed the topic.
"It was a good win," Cabrera said.
Cabrera was out of the lineup for the fourth consecutive game as manager Jim Leyland gave his abdominal strain one more day to recover before the Tigers begin a four-game divisional clash in Cleveland. Cabrera looked fine in his pregame workout, taking ground balls and batting practice, but hitting and lateral movement have never been the problem for him. It's running, Cabrera said, that tests his injury.
"He felt a lot better [Saturday]," Leyland said, "but that was my decision not to play him."
Jose Iglesias started at third base for the third straight game and made several slick plays. Don Kelly, who started in right field as Leyland gave Torii Hunter and his Achilles a day off, batted third in Cabrera's spot.
Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. Read Beck's Blog and follow him on Twitter @beckjason. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.