Serving as the designated hitter for the opener of the four-game series, Cabrera went 2 for 4, including a home run in the fourth inning.
With Cabrera serving as the designated hitter, Victor Martinez was at Cabrera's usual spot at first base. Cabrera played in each of Detroit's first 59 games.
"As a DH, you can have a lot of dead time in between, but Kevin Rand and the training staff's going to make sure he's stretching and moving in between at-bats, whether it's on the bike or on the table getting stretched," manager Brad Ausmus said.
Cabrera, who won the AL MVP award in each of the last two seasons, is hitting .326 with 11 homers and 51 RBIs for the AL Central-leading Tigers. He was bothered last year by shin and groin injuries, and he had muscle repair surgery in the offseason.
Cabrera looked gimpy after he singled in the sixth inning of Sunday night's 5-3 loss to the Red Sox. He was lifted for a pinch-runner.
"He probably won't be stealing any bases tonight," Ausmus cracked, "but he's pretty good at monitoring himself. I think he proved last year he can play through a little bit of discomfort."
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.