CLEARWATER, Fla. (AP) - Miguel Cabrera looked like a prize fighter on the wrong end of a right hook.
Cabrera left Monday's 4-3 loss to the Philadelphia Phillies with a bloody face after a hard grounder from Hunter Pence hit Detroit's six-time All-Star near the right eye.
Cabrera was taken to a hospital to receive stitches and get precautionary X-rays.
``We don't have any information,' Tigers manager Jim Leyland said, repeating that answer several times.
Cabrera was wearing sunglasses, and it's uncertain whether the wicked one-hopper hit the right lens or just under it. He wiped blood off with his hand and held a towel to his face as he walked off the field.
``It swelled up,' Leyland said. ``Basically he looked like a fighter that needed a cut man and wasn't doing any good in the fight.'
Cabrera's head snapped back as the ball shot up. He stayed on his feet, but seemed dazed.
Cabrera is making the transition back to third base this spring because Detroit signed first baseman Prince Fielder. Even a Gold Glove third baseman would've likely been hit by Pence's shot.
``He'd be in the same place as Cabrera, getting stitches,' Leyland said when asked whether anyone else would have had a chance to make that play.
Former Boston Red Sox manager Terry Francona concurred.
``You're going to pick up the paper tomorrow and read that Cabrera can't play third base,' Francona said on ESPN's broadcast. ``But that ball hits every third baseman in the majors in the face.'
Cabrera hasn't played third base regularly since 2007 with Florida. He started 14 games there in 2008, and hasn't made an appearance at third in the last three seasons.
One bad hop isn't going to make Leyland change his mind about the risky move.
``He's doing real good. He's doing fine,' Leyland said. ``Watch him play, write what you want, give your opinion what you think. He's doing great at third base. Is he going to make plays like Brooks Robinson? For the 100th time this spring? No. Is he going to catch the routine plays, is he going to throw it accurately with one of the better arms in the league? Yes. Is he going to hit a lot of home runs and knock in a lot of runs? Yes. He's our third baseman.'
Jimmy Rollins hit a go-ahead sacrifice fly for the Phillies.
The three-time All-Star shortstop and former NL MVP was concerned about a bad hop himself after seeing Cabrera get hit.
``Unfortunately, he had glasses on because it gave him a gash,' Rollins said. ``Fortunately, he had glasses on because that can rip a socket out.'
Before the game, the Phillies announced that second baseman Chase Utley left camp to see a specialist for his injured knees and he's likely to start the season on the disabled list.
``I would think it would be doubtful for him to be prepared to play second base for us on opening day,' general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said. ``Really this is about making sure he's healthy and playing a significant amount of the season so whatever time it takes for him to feel confident about his knees, that's the important part, whether it's tomorrow or the next week.'
Freddy Galvis, the leading candidate to replace Utley, hit a two-run triple to tie it at 3. He scored on Rollins' hard liner, with left fielder Matt Young making a sliding catch, during a four-run fifth inning.
Brennan Boesch hit a two-run homer for Detroit.
Tigers starter Max Scherzer allowed four runs and six hits in five innings and struck out five.
Scott Elarton started for the Phillies, and gave up three runs and three hits in 2 1-3 innings.
NOTES: The Phillies released righty Joel Pineiro. Pineiro, who signed a minor league contract in January, has had four double-digit win seasons, including 16 victories in 2003 and 15 in 2009. ... The Tigers optioned RHP Jose Ortega and LHP Matt Hoffman to Triple-A Toledo. ... Phillies LHP Antonio Bastardo has forearm tightness, according to pitching coach Rich Dubee, who said it's not serious. ... AL MVP and Cy Young Award winner Justin Verlander will make his fourth start of spring training on Tuesday vs. Atlanta.
The Associated Press News Service
The Associated Press
All Rights Reserved