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9/1/2014 8:44 P.M. ET

Tigers waiting for Anibal to be completely pain-free

CLEVELAND -- The Tigers continue to be very cautious with right-hander Anibal Sanchez, who has been on the disabled list since Aug. 9 with a major strain of his right pectoralis.

Manager Brad Ausmus reported Monday that Sanchez is feeling better, but there is no timetable for the veteran starter to resume throwing.

"It's good that he felt better today, but until he's completely pain-free, we won't do anything with him," Ausmus said.

Sanchez posted an 8-5 record with a 3.46 ERA in 21 starts prior to his injury. Detroit reliever Joakim Soria, who has a strained left oblique, threw a pregame side session at Progressive Field on Monday. The righty, who has been on the DL since Aug. 10, has thrown a baseball in five of the last seven days.

Miggy returns to lineup, drives in three runs

CLEVELAND -- Miguel Cabrera returned to the Tigers' lineup on Monday afternoon, serving as their designated hitter against the Cleveland Indians. He hit a two-run homer in the first inning of Detroit's 12-1 win, and added a solo shot in the eighth.

The two-time reigning American League MVP continues to battle a sore right ankle, but he told manager Brad Ausmus that he "felt OK to play" upon arriving at Progressive Field.

"We're still very day to day on this, so the key is how we're going to try and manage Miggy the rest of the season," Ausmus said. "He said he could have played first base, but I didn't want him standing out there for nine innings. That's why I elected to go with Option B and have him DH."

Cabrera exited Detroit's game Saturday night against the White Sox when his ankle flared up, then sat out the series finale Sunday in Chicago. It marked just the third game he has missed this season.

Cabrera is hitting .304 with 19 home runs and a team-high 94 RBIs. He was in the third spot in the batting order against the Indians, while cleanup hitter Victor Martinez played first base.

With the Tigers in the thick of the AL playoff race, Ausmus understands how important it is to keep Cabrera as healthy as possible.

"Running is the biggest issue with his ankle, but the speed game is not exactly Miggy's forte," the skipper deadpanned. "I think standing bugs him more than anything else, so we're going to limit the amount of time that he has to do that."

Tigers give prospect Moya warm welcome

CLEVELAND -- Steven Moya's first day in the big leagues got off to a great start when he arrived in the Tigers' clubhouse on Monday.

Victor Martinez gave the Eastern League MVP a warm hug, while Justin Verlander extended his congratulations and welcomed him to the team. Moya then picked up his first career hit with a single in the ninth inning of Detroit's 12-1 win.

"This is unbelievable, I will never forget it," said a wide-eyed Moya, who is the seventh-ranked Detroit prospect by MLB.com. "I know a lot of people were expecting me to be called up, but I didn't know anything until yesterday after our game. I'm thankful to God for the way everything happened."

Moya was one of four Minor Leaguers promoted to the Tigers as part of the September roster expansion to 40 players.

Shortstop Hernan Perez and outfielder Tyler Collins were recalled from Triple-A Toledo, while catcher James McCann had his contract purchased from the Mud Hens. The marquee attraction, though, was 23-year-old slugger Moya, who was recalled from Double-A Erie.

The 6-foot-6, 230-pound right fielder belted 35 home runs and 105 RBIs in 133 games for the SeaWolves and started in the All-Star Futures Game at Target Field.

"Steven is a classic, left-handed hitter," Detroit manager Brad Ausmus said. "I realize he's still a young guy, but it's tough to teach power like he has."

Ausmus added that it is possible to teach discipline at the plate, which is why Moya's 161 strikeouts and 23 walks this season aren't a major concern to him. Ausmus also said he wouldn't hesitate to use him as a pinch-hitter during the Tigers' playoff push.

"I know I can hit for power, but I want to be a complete hitter," Moya said. "Now that I've gotten here, I know I have to produce."

Worth noting

• Tigers left-hander Kyle Lobstein will start the second game of the four-game series against the Indians.

If he pitches well, Ausmus said Lobstein will likely remain in the rotation and lefty Kyle Ryan will be placed in the bullpen upon his scheduled Tuesday recall from Triple-A Toledo.

Brian Dulik is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.