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Boston — Jackie Bradley, Jr. hit a slow bouncing ball toward Miguel Cabrera at first base at the end of the fourth inning Wednesday night.

It was a routine play, but Cabrera slipped and fell, twisting his body awkwardly. He got up quickly and made the throw to Niko Goodrum covering the base, though Bradley had already run out of the base path and was out.

The more important concern was Cabrera — who jogged off the field slowly. He was moving around, seemingly in some discomfort later in the game, as well. This was his sixth game back off the disabled list (hamstring strain).

"He's working his way through it," manager Ron Gardenhire said. "His ankle is all wrapped up. He's always had that (from his ankle surgery three years ago). He spun out there and I was worried he might have sprained his ankle.

"But he's just stiff right now. We are letting him work his way through it."

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Cabrera rapped two singles in the game, but made a couple of uncharacteristic defensive mistakes. He made a superb backhand stop of a hard-hit ball by Rafael Devers in the third inning, but his throw to pitcher Blaine Hardy covering first was too hard and too low.

It was scored a single, the first of five straight base runners in a four-run inning for the Red Sox. 

In the bottom of the eighth, Cabrera cut off a throw to the plate from center fielder Leonys Martin. Bad decision. There would have been a play on the runner, Mitch Moreland, trying to score from second.

"No one feels worse than he does about the defense," Gardenhire said. "Because he is a really good defender. He cut that ball and we probably had the guy out at home if he lets it go. And that play at first, his throw was too hard.

"But we have to let him play through it. He didn't go on a rehab assignment, so now this is his rehab, in the big leagues."

Wilson activated 

The fact that reliever Louis Coleman had to throw 26 pitches in the eighth inning Wednesday prompted the Tigers to activate reliever Alex Wilson off the disabled list a day earlier than general manager Al Avila would have preferred to.

"It's disappointing we missed a couple of plays in that inning and Coleman had to throw nearly 30 pitches," Gardenhire said. "We had to make a roster move. We just can't continue this. We need more pitching than we need anything else."

To make room for Wilson, utility man Ronny Rodriguez was sent back to Triple-A Toledo. And the Tigers are back to having only three bench players. 

cmccosky@detroitnews.com

twitter.com/cmccosky

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