DETROIT (AP) - Miguel Cabrera swung and missed to end the game, and gingerly walked away from the plate perhaps with another ailment.
Glen Perkins struck out Cabrera with two on for the final out to help the Minnesota Twins hold off the Detroit Tigers in a 6-3 win Tuesday night.
Cabrera's injury would be more costly than the loss.
``I'm not sure if it was the groin or stomach area,' Tigers manager Jim Leyland said. ``He was in some pain.'
The reigning Triple Crown winner has been playing through a strained lower abdomen, injured hip and banged-up left leg and got hurt again in his last at-bat.
``That first swing, he reacted with some pain,' Leyland said. ``You could see it in his facial expression.'
Minnesota's Justin Morneau had a season high four hits, including a two-run homer and a two-run double off Rick Porcello.
``He's obviously still a threat,' Porcello said. ``The home run was one of the better pitches I threw to him all night.'
Porcello (9-7) allowed five runs and seven hits over 4 1-3 innings.
Mike Pelfrey (5-10) gave up three runs and seven hits in 6 2-3 innings. Jared Burton got out of a two-on, one-out jam in the eighth, and Perkins finished for his 29th save in 32 chances - barely.
Detroit catcher Brayan Pena led off the ninth with a single after fouling a pitch off his right big toe. He struggled to run to first base and was replaced by Bryan Holaday. After walking Austin Jackson with two outs, Cabrera came to the plate.
The fans that stuck around rose to their feet only to go home disappointed when the reigning AL MVP swung and missed on a third strike. Cabrera hit homers in his last two games, including a game-winning homer in the ninth inning Saturday night against Kansas City.
``You're not going to do it every single time,' Leyland said. ``It's not that easy.'
Prince Fielder hit his 20th homer to get the Tigers within two runs in the fourth inning, but they allowed Minnesota to build its lead in each of the next two innings.
Phil Coke pitched in relief of Porcello and Morneau sent his first pitch into the right-field gap to put Minnesota up 5-1 in the fifth inning.
Following the game, Coke was sent to Triple-A Toledo to work on his control and left-handed pitcher Jose Alvarez was recalled.
``We're not down on Phil Coke,' Leyland insisted. ``He's coming back Sept. 1.'
That wasn't of much consolation for Coke.
``I'm not happy,' he said. ``I don't know who would be.'
NOTES: Tigers C Alex Avila, who hasn't played since Aug. 10 because of concussion symptoms, participated in pregame drills on the field and the early returns from his workout were positive. Avila will wear a mask with more padding when he returns to play. ... Tigers 2B Omar Infante played for the first time since leaving Saturday's game with a stiff back. ... Porcello had given up three or fewer runs in each of his previous eight starts. ... Twins OF Oswaldo Arcia was out of the lineup because of a sore left wrist.
The Associated Press News Service
The Associated Press
All Rights Reserved