Cabrera sprained his right ankle in the seventh inning of Detroit’s 6-3 loss to the Cleveland Indians on Monday night after Tigers starter Andres Galarraga went from unhittable to giving up three homers in an 18-pitch span.
“I’m concerned about it,” Leyland said of Cabrera’s injury. “You could see the way he was reacting that he was in pain. It was hurting. You don’t take any chances with anybody, let alone him.”
Cabrera landed awkwardly on the bag while getting back to first base on a pickoff attempt. He limped from the field and was taken for X-rays, which were negative.
The first baseman and MVP candidate leads the majors with 126 RBIs, is tied for second in the AL with 38 homers and is third with a .328 batting average.
Galarraga (5-8) had a no-hitter until Matt LaPorta(notes) hit a 412-foot homer to center leading off the fifth. One out later, Luke Carlin(notes) homered to right. Travis Hafner(notes) hit a three-run shot with two outs for a 5-2 lead.
“Everything happened so fast,” Galarraga said. “I gave up a home run, another and another. And, boom, I was out of the game. I allowed only four base hits. I still can’t believe how it happened.”
“His fastball had life and he made 21 of 29 first-pitch strikes,” Cleveland manager Manny Acta said of the rookie right-hander. “He gave up nine hits in the first four innings, but kept his composure.”
Chris Perez(notes) pitched a perfect ninth for his 22nd save in 26 tries. He had not worked since Sept. 18 and missed the last three games when he went home to Tampa, Fla. for the birth of his first son on Friday.
“Ever since he’s been born, we’re undefeated,” Perez said.
The Indians have won four straight and snapped Detroit’s four-game winning streak. The Tigers have lost six straight in Cleveland and were counting on Galarraga to end that slide.
For four innings, he continued to dominate the Indians as he had on June 2, when he lost his bid for a perfect game with two outs in the ninth inning on an infield single by Cleveland’s Jason Donald(notes). TV replays showed Donald was out and that umpire Jim Joyce blew the call. On Aug. 20, Galarraga struck out eight over seven innings in a 6-0 win over the Indians.
LaPorta’s shot was the first run and only the fifth hit by Cleveland off Galarraga in 20 innings this year.
“LaPorta’s homer was huge,” Acta said. “It broke the ice.”
Until then both starters were moving about as fast as an iceberg, much to Leyland’s displeasure.
“The pace of the game was terrible,” Leyland said. “Between Galarraga and their guy, so much time between pitches. It was like almost every pitch they were preparing for a test. Between those two guys, you fall asleep. That’s not a criticism. That’s just a fact. They were way too slow for me.”
With two outs, the Indians intentionally walked Cabrera, who had homered in his previous three games. It was the 32nd intentional pass issued to Cabrera this season, two short of the AL record set by Ted Williams in 1957.
Peralta, traded by the Indians to Detroit in July, hit a bloop single to left to score Jackson.
Jackson made it 2-0 in the fourth with Detroit’s fourth single of the inning. Alex Avila(notes) and Casper Wells(notes) singled. Avila was out by 10 feet trying to steal third with Will Rhymes(notes) at bat. Rhymes then grounded a single to left, with Wells stopping at third. Jackson followed with a ground single between first and second.
Jackson’s sacrifice fly in the sixth got Detroit within 5-3.
NOTES: The home team has won the last 10 meetings and 14 of 16 this year between the AL Central rivals. … Leyland will meet with general manager David Dombrowski, the coaching staff, scouts and other members of the Tigers front office on Tuesday. “It’s just a discussion of where we are,” Leyland said. “It’s basically an evaluation thing. You like to get opinions from different people. It’s good to get (other) viewpoints.” … Detroit has won eight of 11, with each loss by Galarraga. He has an 11.20 ERA in those starts. … Acta has shut down RHP Jeanmar Gomez(notes) to limit his innings. Gomez is 4-5 with a 4.68 ERA in 11 starts and has worked 173 2-3 innings combined between Cleveland and Triple-A Columbus. … Donald, who bruised his right index finger when hit with a pitch while trying to bunt on Sept. 11, probably won’t play again this season.