KANSAS CITY -- The Tigers rolled into town on Thursday night hoping to have Miguel Cabrera and Cameron Maybin back in their lineup for Friday's series opener against the Royals. They got half of that.
While Cabrera, his sore right ankle healthy enough to play with treatment, delivered the go-ahead two-run single in the ninth and four RBIs overall in the Tigers' 7-6 win, Maybin remained out with a bruised left thumb. He swung the bat during early work on Friday afternoon, but still felt discomfort in the thumb, costing him another day.
Maybin remains day to day, manager Brad Ausmus said. With Maybin out, rookie JaCoby Jones -- who was going to start at third base -- made his second start in center, while Erick Aybar made his second Major League start at third.
Maybin, who bruised his thumb when he caught it between Tyler Saladino's knee and the second-base bag on a stolen-base attempt, had the thumb wrapped in the clubhouse before the game.
As for Cabrera, he said his ankle feels OK after he gets it iced. Still, Cabrera said, he tends to jam it when he slides.
Despite a limp, he assured, "I'm feeling OK."
Castellanos begins swinging
The good news for Nick Castellanos on Friday was that he picked up a bat for the first time since sustaining a fractured left hand last month. It was just a fungo bat, not a regular one, and he was taking his swings off a tee, but it was progress.
Still, Ausmus estimated Castellanos remains a couple weeks away from a return to action. The third baseman still has to progress to regular hitting, as well as taking infield work.
Tigers, MLB commemorate Childhood Cancer Awareness
The Tigers joined in Major League Baseball's league-wide effort raise Childhood Cancer Awareness by wearing gold wristbands and gold ribbon decals. Cabrera took the occasion to wear special spikes with gold on the front.
Once the Tigers return home next weekend, they'll hold Childhood Cancer Awareness activities on Sept. 9, teaming up with St. Baldrick's Foundation and Children's Hospital of Michigan Foundation to help support treatment and research efforts. All fans attending the series opener against the Orioles are encouraged to wear gold, while kids activities on the concourse will include face painting, interactive games and educational materials.
Fans can also purchase a Pediatric Cancer Awareness ticket package for the game along with a lower baseline box, upper baseline box, upper infield box or upper reserved ticket. The package includes a Detroit Tigers Pediatric Cancer Awareness T-shirt and a $5 donation to St. Baldrick's Foundation or Children's Hospital of Michigan Foundation. The packages are available at tigers.com/children.
Jason Beck has covered the Tigers for MLB.com since 2002. Read Beck's Blog, follow him on Twitter @beckjason and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.