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Miggy's biceps improving, but Tigers play it safe

Slugger awaiting medical clearance to return to action after experiencing muscle spasms
MLB.com @beckjason

DETROIT -- Not even Miguel Cabrera's history against Rays starter Chris Archer was going to get him back in the Tigers' lineup early. He missed a second consecutive game Tuesday, but continued to report improvement in his left biceps.

Cabrera left Sunday's loss at Baltimore with what the team called a biceps spasm. He said after that game, and each day since, that he feels improvement, but has remained cautious to avoid making it a longer-term injury.

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DETROIT -- Not even Miguel Cabrera's history against Rays starter Chris Archer was going to get him back in the Tigers' lineup early. He missed a second consecutive game Tuesday, but continued to report improvement in his left biceps.

Cabrera left Sunday's loss at Baltimore with what the team called a biceps spasm. He said after that game, and each day since, that he feels improvement, but has remained cautious to avoid making it a longer-term injury.

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Still, a matchup with Archer, against whom he's 7-for-18 with two home runs for his career, had to be tough to pass up.

"He actually wanted to go down to the cage and take a few swings, which is a good sign for us," manager Ron Gardenhire said. "I think there's an ulterior motive there."

Cabrera, for his part, downplayed the Archer part, saying the opposing pitcher doesn't matter for him.

"I just want to play," he said.

That won't happen, Gardenhire said, until Cabrera is cleared by the team medical staff. For that reason, he wasn't available to pinch-hit during Monday's ninth-inning rally.

"It would have to be their word," Gardenhire said. "But goodness, I would love to have him out there."

Video: DET@PIT: Miggy has a four-hit game in Pittsburgh

The Tigers did get one regular back when Leonys Martin resumed his normal spot atop the lineup. He did not start Monday's game while dealing with a tight hamstring, though he later entered the game as a pinch-runner.

"I can't take him on the bench. He's driving me crazy," Gardenhire said.

Norris surgery more common in hockey
Contrary to some speculation, Daniel Norris is not having sports hernia surgery. The procedure he's expected to have when he visits noted core muscle specialist Dr. William Meyers in Philadelphia on Thursday does not involve muscle repair, just an incision to release the pressure on the groin muscle that has limited Norris' mobility.

Dr. Meyers performed a similar procedure on Roy Oswalt after the 2003 season. The surgery is more common among NHL goaltenders. Dr. Meyers has performed surgery on several Tigers over the years, including core muscle repair surgery on Cabrera after the 2013 season.

Norris said Monday he was told his procedure would sideline him for 8-12 weeks. A more exact timetable will be available following the surgery.

Video: DET@BAL: Norris leaves game in the 3rd with injury

Slip and a fall for Niko Goodrum
The Tigers took advantage of Tuesday's long-awaited warm weather and a brief homestand to do some extra infield work on the field early in the afternoon, but it almost came at a price. Goodrum lost his footing and fell while trying to field a ground ball and shovel the ball near first base, jamming his left wrist in the process.

Goodrum received attention from team athletic trainers, but finished out the drills and took batting practice.

Gardenhire said Goodrum learned a valuable lesson to wear his spikes when working out on wet grass. The infield had been watered before the drills.

Quick hits
• Reliever Alex Wilson was in the Tigers' dugout in the ninth inning Monday as a pinch-running option for Victor Martinez before Martin jumped in and ran instead.

"Gardy asked me if I knew what to do," Wilson said. "That'll probably be the first and last time I ever even get considered to pinch-run. I was down on the right day in the right situation with the right guy hitting."

• Gardenhire said he and coaches talked with JaCoby Jones about his ninth-inning steal of second base with the Tigers down three runs at the time. Jones said later he had missed the hold sign coaches put on.

Jason Beck has covered the Tigers for MLB.com since 2002. Read Beck's Blog, follow him on Twitter @beckjason and Facebook.

Detroit Tigers, Miguel Cabrera