Miggy returns to lineup after three games

Miggy returns to lineup after three games

Miggy returns to lineup after three games

BOSTON -- Jose Iglesias took a glance at the lineup card on his way through the clubhouse, stopped and took a closer look to make sure and then pumped his fists. For someone who has been the Tigers' everyday shortstop for four weeks, it seemed like an odd reaction.

It wasn't for himself, he said. He then pointed to the third spot in the batting order.

Yes, Miguel Cabrera is back. The third baseman returned to Detroit's starting lineup after leaving two consecutive games early with a sore groin and missing the following three.

Cabrera raised hopes for his impending return when he took batting practice with the team Monday morning and put on his usual show, a smile on his face. On Tuesday, he went through running and agility drills before batting practice with no obvious issues.

Asked afterwards how he felt, Cabrera said, "Better."

Cabrera picks up his Triple Crown chase in much the same spot where he left it. His .358 batting average is 23 points ahead of Mike Trout for the league lead, while his 130 RBIs are eight more than Orioles slugger Chris Davis' total. Cabrera trails Davis by four home runs.

The Tigers won two of three without Cabrera, three of five if you add the games he left early. They're 10-2 this season in games Cabrera didn't start, including Monday's 3-0 shutout of the Red Sox.

"We've been very fortunate," Tigers manager Jim Leyland said Tuesday afternoon, "but that luck will run out."

At that point, Leyland had just two spots on his lineup card filled out. The rest was waiting on Cabrera. Once he was cleared to play, Leyland was able to fill out a standard lineup against a left-handed pitcher, in this case Boston's Jon Lester.

Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. Read Beck's Blog and follow him on Twitter @beckjason. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.