BOSTON -- The Tigers entered their important three-game series against the Red Sox with Miguel Cabrera still out of the lineup. The swings Cabrera put on during batting practice Monday morning suggest he might not be out much longer.
Cabrera did not look limited as he took BP with the team, an encouraging sign after his swings Friday were a sign to manager Jim Leyland that his slugger was hampered. If Cabrera can move around without trouble, he could return to the lineup by the end of the series Wednesday.
"He was hitting real good, but he always does that," Leyland said after Monday's 3-0 win over the Red Sox. "He was in good spirits today and I think he's feeling much, much better, to be honest with you. I'm just waiting for the clearance from Miguel and the medical team. And when I get that, I'll put him back in there."
Leyland had a different twist to his lineup Monday with Cabrera out. After hitting Torii Hunter third the previous couple of days, Leyland moved Hunter back to his usual second spot and shifted Prince Fielder and Victor Martinez up. Leyland made the shift hoping to potentially get his middle-of-the-order hitters another chance to hit in the friendly dimensions of Fenway Park.
For Fielder, it marked his first game batting third since Aug. 13, 2010, as a Milwaukee Brewer. Martinez batted cleanup four times in 2011, three of them on days when Cabrera was off. Jose Iglesias, who had batted second the previous couple days, hit ninth.
Detroit did regain the services of one of its key cogs Monday, getting Austin Jackson back in center field and leading off. Jackson wasn't available Sunday, unable to throw after his Saturday night collision with Comerica Park's center field wall roughed up his neck and shoulder.
Jackson was feeling better by the end of Sunday's game, though his shoulder was still a little sore. He compared his collision with whiplash.
"Once I hit, my neck kind of snapped," Jackson said. "I think that's really what took the biggest blow. My shoulder's fine. I was a little worried about that, because it went numb for a second."