Tigers throttled by Royals; Miguel Cabrera could be heading to IL

Detroit News

Detroit — Miguel Cabrera wasn’t in the starting lineup Saturday night, nor was he seen on the bench. The intrigue was a welcome diversion from the Detroit Tigers’ stultifying 12-2 loss to the Kansas City Royals.

“He’s going to see the doctor at 5 p.m.,” Tigers manager AJ Hinch said before the game. “He’s feeling better, for whatever that’s worth at this point. We need to get him evaluated.”

Cabrera felt a twinge in his left bicep after he took an awkward third-strike swing in the fifth inning Friday night. Cabrera had surgery on his left bicep in 2018, though Hinch said this wasn’t in the same area of the muscle.

The Tigers announced following the game that Cabrara was going on the injured list, foreshadowed when in Toledo first baseman Josh Lester was pulled from the game and there were indications that he had been summoned to Detroit, his first big-league call-up.

Lester, 28 and a 13th round pick in 2015, has 24 home runs and 81 RBIs for the Mud Hens. He hit 32 homers last year between Double-A Erie and Toledo.

BOX SCORE: Royals 12, Tigers 2

As for the game, right-hander Michael Pineda, activated off the injured list (triceps), made his first big-league start since July 23 and it did not go well.

It took him 80 pitches to get through four innings and he was tagged with five runs and six hits, including a pair of home runs from Royals rookies. Nick Pratto hit a solo home run in the first inning and Bobby Witt, Jr., hit a three-run rocket in the third.

Witt annihilated a center-cut 3-2 fastball from Pineda. The ball left his bat with an exit velocity of 108 mph and flew 418 feet clearing the visitor’s bullpen in left-center.

Another rookie, Kyle Isbel, trumped both of those homers. He smacked his first career grand slam off Tigers reliever Jason Foley in the fifth.

By the end of the night, four Royals rookies accounted for nine of the 12 runs with four swings. The fourth was a 411-footer to left-center off reliever Daniel Norris by MJ Melendez in the sixth.

One of the few bright spots for the Tigers was catcher Tucker Barnhart. It’s been a long, tough season for him at the plate. He came in hitting .213 with a career-low .243 slugging percentage. He had just seven extra-base hits, all doubles.

MORE: Tigers closer Soto works to bring save-situation adrenaline, focus to non-save situations

On Saturday, he doubled in his first at-bat, which set up the first run on a sacrifice fly by Ryan Kreidler.

Then in the fifth, in his 257th plate appearance of the season, he whacked his first home run as a Tiger — a 375-foot drive to right field.

In his last 10 games, Barnhart is 12 for 35 (.342).

Kreidler, who made another terrific diving play at third base to steal a hit, also notched his first big-league hit — an infield chopper in the fifth. He singled again in the seventh.


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