CLEVELAND -- Tigers slugger Miguel Cabrera left Sunday's 4-1 win over the Indians with lower back tightness after delivering an RBI single in the eighth inning.
Cabrera initially tweaked his back during the World Baseball Classic. He played through it for most of Team Venezuela's run through the tournament, but the Tigers were careful with it in Spring Training. Though a slow start at the plate this season led to suspicions he was still bothered by it, Cabrera said several times he felt fine healthwise.
Cabrera's eighth-inning single through the middle scored Nicholas Castellanos for Cabrera's fifth RBI of the series. Cabrera advanced to second on Victor Martinez's single, but summoned head athletic trainer midway through Justin Upton's ensuing at-bat. Cabrera said he wasn't sure which motion set his back off.
JaCoby Jones pinch-ran for Cabrera, who walked gingerly back into the dugout and down the clubhouse steps.
Manager Brad Ausmus said trainers realigned Cabrera's back.
"It's just lower back stiffness, really," Ausmus said. "A day off tomorrow certainly should help."
Ausmus said earlier in the series that while Cabrera would play every game of the three-game set, he could get a day off in their upcoming series at Tampa Bay, limiting his wear and tear on the artificial surface of Tropicana Field. That series begins Tuesday following an off-day Monday. Cabrera could also start at designated hitter for a game if the Tigers rest Martinez.
Jason Beck has covered the Tigers for MLB.com since 2002. Read Beck's Blog, follow him on Twitter @beckjason and Facebook. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.