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BOSTON -- Miguel Cabrera was not in the Detroit Tigers' lineup during Monday's 3-0 win over the Red Sox, missing his third straight game.
The reigning AL MVP and Triple Crown winner has been sidelined by a strained abdomen, but Tigers general manager Dave Dombrowski said during an interview with ESPNBoston.com before the game that Cabrera has been hampered more by a "groin" problem.
"They're working on it; he felt appreciably better yesterday," Dombrowski said during the interview, which aired on WEEI. "I think the one thing we're going to do with him this time is we want to make sure from even his own perspective that when he gets back out there, he's running better than what he has in the past.
"We would think that he'll most likely play in this series here at some point. I'm not sure if it will be today, but I would think that would be the case. He's coming along well, but we want to make sure that he is healthy and ready to go the rest of the season without any setbacks that are unanticipated."
With Cabrera out, manager Jim Leyland moved Prince Fielder up to third in the order and Victor Martinez to fourth. Don Kelly played third base and hit seventh.
Cabrera leads all of baseball with a .358 batting average and 130 RBIs. With 43 homers, he trails only Baltimore's Chris Davis (47).
Cabrera has added incentive to make it back into the lineup soon: Against Red Sox left-hander Jon Lester, scheduled to pitch Tuesday night, Cabrera is batting .625 (10-for-16) with two doubles and a home run.
"He was hitting pretty good but he always does that," said Tigers manager Jim Leyland. "He was in good spirits today and I think he's feeling much, much better to be honest with you. I'm just waiting for clearance from Miguel and the medical team and when I get that I'll put him back in there."
ESPNBoston.com's Gordon Edes and The Associated Press contributed to this report.