SPORTS

Miguel Cabrera Plays First Spring Game Since DUI Bust

  • Detroit Tigers' Miguel Cabrera, center, blows a bubble in the dugout prior to a spring training baseball game against the New York Yankees in Lakeland, Fla., Monday, Feb. 28, 2011.(AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)

    Detroit Tigers' Miguel Cabrera, center, blows a bubble in the dugout prior to a spring training baseball game against the New York Yankees in Lakeland, Fla., Monday, Feb. 28, 2011.(AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)  (AP2011)

  • Detroit Tigers' Miguel Cabrera, center, blows a bubble in the dugout prior to a spring training baseball game against the New York Yankees in Lakeland, Fla., Monday, Feb. 28, 2011.(AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)

    Detroit Tigers' Miguel Cabrera, center, blows a bubble in the dugout prior to a spring training baseball game against the New York Yankees in Lakeland, Fla., Monday, Feb. 28, 2011.(AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)  (AP2011)

Miguel Cabrera got back to baseball on Monday.

The Detroit Tigers slugger, after weeks of off-the-field drama regarding his DUI arrest, played in his first spring training game this year.

Cabrera went 0-for-2 with a walk against CC Sabathia and the New York Yankees. The Tigers won 6-2.

It was the Venezuelan's first appearance on the diamond since Feb. 16, when he was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence and resisting an officer without violence. 

He subsequently apologized during a press conference, but denied he was an alcoholic.

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He is to be arraigned on March 16.

After Monday's game, he refused to answer any non-baseball questions. Cabrera, who batted cleanup and was the team's designated hitter, said he is looking forward to playing the field.

Manager Jim Leyland said he will DH again Tuesday against Toronto, then play the field Wednesday against Houston.

"It's kind of slow playing DH," Cabrera said. "I really prefer playing at first. I was starting to feel normal in batting practice, but I am looking forward to playing in the field."

Cabrera hit a sharp grounder down the third-base line in the first off CC Sabathia, but Alex Rodríquez made a backhand grab and threw out Cabrera out at first. Cabrera hit a similar ball in the third, but Rodríguez made another backhand stab and retired Cabrera at first. 

Cabrera drew a walk in his final at-bat and was removed for a pinch runner.

Leyland said Cabrera looked to be in spring training form. Cabrera hit .328 with 38 homers and 126 RBIs last season, finishing second in AL MVP voting to Texas' Josh Hamilton.

"It's going to take some time to get ready," Leyland said. "He'll be fine."

Cabrera was greeted warmly by fans before each at-bat.

"I heard the applause," Cabrera said. "It was good to get the first game out of the way, but I can do better. I was thinking about seeing strikes, but I heard the fans supporting me."

Based on reporting by The Associated Press.

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