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Scuffling Tigers continue series with Rays, minus Miguel Cabrera

Sportsnaut
Jul 28, 2022; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Detroit Tigers designated hitter Miguel Cabrera (24) reacts after hitting a ball against the Toronto Blue Jays during the first inning at Rogers Centre. Mandatory Credit: Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports

Miguel Cabrera was in the Detroit Tigers’ lineup for the opener of a four-game home series against the Tampa Bay Rays on Thursday. He will sit out the next game.

The designated hitter will be a part-time player the rest of the season.

Cabrera, who reached 3,000 hits in April, has been slowed by right knee soreness, and manager A.J. Hinch plans to play him every other day.

The Rays and Tigers play the second game of the series on Friday.

“I don’t want to hurt the team,” Cabrera said. “I don’t want to put them in a bad position … so I’m OK with (not playing as much).

“You’ve got to understand your body, you know what I mean? I understand my body, I understand my position now in this thing, so I’m OK, but I’m still going to keep working, and every time they give me a chance to play, I’m going to go out there and do my job.”

Cabrera went 0-for-4 on Thursday in the Tigers’ 6-2 loss to the Rays. He was batting .308 less than a month ago, but his average has plummeted to .268. Cabrera is hitless in his past 23 at-bats.

The Rays scored two unearned runs on Thursday but also had 12 hits, twice as many as Detroit. Both of the Tigers’ runs were unearned.

“This is not a good night offensively, and it’s been a rough go of it for a majority of the season,” Hinch said. “You can make an error or two, but you’ve still got to swing the bat.”

Right-hander Bryan Garcia will be Detroit’s starting pitcher on Friday.

Garcia made his first start in 73 career major league appearances at Toronto last Friday, his season debut. He lasted 3 2/3 innings, allowing two runs and three hits and did not get a decision. That works out to a 4.91 ERA, compared with his career ERA of 6.06.

Garcia spent most of the season with Triple-A Toledo, where he went 1-2 with a 2.90 ERA and one save in 31 games, including three starts.

Right-hander Corey Kluber (7-6, 4.03 ERA) will get the start for the Rays. Kluber has allowed four earned runs in each of his past three starts, including a six-inning stint against Cleveland on Saturday. He notched a season-high 10 strikeouts at the Guardians’ expense.

Kluber faced the Tigers on May 16, when he held them to two runs and four hits in six innings while collecting eight strikeouts.

Kluber has faced the Tigers 28 times, with 27 starts, more than any other team. He has a 13-7 record and 3.31 ERA in all of those outings.

Tampa Bay’s Brandon Lowe and Randy Arozarena were the hitting stars on Thursday. They combined for seven hits and five RBIs.

Lowe sparked the Rays with a two-run homer, his eighth long ball of the season.

“He’s a special hitter, an All-Star-caliber hitter,” manager Kevin Cash said.

Lowe hit 39 homers while appearing in 149 games last season. He was sidelined for two months this season with a back injury.

He has collected two or more hits in three of the past four games.

“He does look comfortable in the box,” Cash said. “He got some pitches to do some damage today. The last at-bat, he smokes it the other way (for a single), so he’s covering a lot of pitches now.”

–Field Level Media