Originally posted on Fox Sports Detroit  |  Last updated 8/26/12
DETROIT -- It was a very different lineup for the Tigers on Sunday -- star slugger Miguel Cabrera wasn't in it. For the previous 126 games, Cabrera had played. With Cabrera battling a sore right ankle, manager Jim Leyland wrestled with the decision of whether he should use Cabrera as the designated hitter or sit him out completely. "I didn't even sleep last night," Leyland said. "I talked to a lot of people. I made a couple calls last night. I talked to my coaches all day "But you know, at the end of the day when I talked to Cabrera, I knew the best thing to do was to rest him today, no matter what the outcome of this game was. That's what managing is." Andy Dirks batted third in Cabrera's spot and went 2-for-3 with two runs, two hits, one an RBI triple. Leyland wanted to emphasize the fact that Cabrera did not ask for the day off. "If I told him he was DHing, he would have been fine," Leyland said. "He was the last guy that I wanted to talk to, just to see how he would look and respond, and I was totally convinced that I should give him the day off. He did not ask for the day off." Cabrera seemed to be fine with Leyland's decision. "You gotta think like theyre going to give you some days off," Cabrera said. "It was a perfect time. That way, I can be ready for Kansas City." Cabrera was happy that his teammates were able to beat the Angels, 5-2, without him. "That's what it's about," he said. "It's about everybody here contributing. "Even if I don't play today, the guys are gonna do what they do today. It's kind of like I was feeling good with this day off, I got a lot of confidence in my teammates. It's nothing to worry about." Leyland was also pleased that his team responded without their leading MVP candidate. "I found something out about our guys today, I think," Leyland said. "I thought it was really good. "I think they knew with the big guy out of there, I think some guys really stepped up and responded. I'm proud of them." The rest of the Tigers knew that Cabrera had been fighting through his pain to play and were pleased that they could give him a rest. "That was the goal," Gerald Laird said. "The goal was to win today and keep him off his foot and give him a break. "The guy's been huge all year. That's all we can do for our best hitter." With the off day Monday, Leyland believes Cabrera should be back in shape when the Tigers start their three-game series in Kansas City. "I'm pretty confident that Miguel will play third base in the Kansas City series," Leyland said. "I think this did wonders for him, and it has nothing to do with the fact that we won the game." Prince Fielder is now the only Tiger who has played in all 127 games. Young still on hot streak After Delmon Young went 3-for-4 with two doubles Saturday, Leyland couldn't keep him out of the lineup, although that was the original plan. Since Cabrera was out, Young was the DH Sunday. Young went 2-for-4 with a double and home run. He's now batting .324 with seven doubles, two home runs and and eight RBIs in his last 18 games. "He's in a good groove right now, I can tell you that," Leyland said. "He's a run producer. He's a veteran guy "As it turns out probably, if he's not good enough, we're probably not good enough." Jackson needs a break Austin Jackson went 0-for-13 in the three-game series against the Angels, batting just .231 on the home stand. "I probably should have started (Quintin) Berry in center field today and given Austin two days," Leyland said. "Because as you could see today, he was tired. I screwed it up. "But I had so much on my mind about the Cabrera thing. That's a little trick that I missed, and I kick myself in the fanny for it."
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