LAKELAND — After almost two weeks of turmoil, Miguel Cabrera returned to where he's most comfortable: a baseball field.
Cabrera played his first game since his arrest, going 0-for-2 with a walk as the Tigers' DH on Monday in a 6-2 win over the Yankees.
Cabrera batted cleanup, his first appearance since his arrest Feb. 16 on suspicion of driving under the influence and resisting an officer without violence. He is to be arraigned March 16.
After the game, he refused to answer any non-baseball questions. Cabrera said he is looking forward to playing the field, but manager Jim Leyland said he will DH again today 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 Rodriguez made a backhand grab and threw out Cabrera out at first. Cabrera hit a similar ball in the third, but Rodriguez made another backhand stab and retired Cabrera at first. Cabrera drew a walk his final time up and was removed for a pinch-runner.
Leyland said Cabrera looked to be in spring training form.
"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."
CRAWFORD DEBUTS: Not much to remember from Carl Crawford's spring training debut for the Red Sox. The $142 million man, who signed with Boston after nine seasons with the Rays, was 0-for-3 in a 7-6 win over the Twins.
"It felt good just to put on the uniform and finally get out there on the field and play a game," Crawford told the Boston Globe. "Little nervous at first, but I was happy to get that out of the way."
In other Red Sox news, right-hander Josh Beckett had mild concussion symptoms after he was hit in the back of the head during batting practice.
Beckett walked from the field on his own, with trainers at his side. But after being examined by a doctor, he was sent home to rest. The Red Sox expect an update on Beckett today.
Beckett is coming off a poor and injury-plagued season in which he posted a 5.78 ERA in 21 starts immediately after signing a four-year, $68 million contract.
SPARKY HONORED: The Reds honored former Hall of Fame manager Sparky Anderson, who died in November. The team played a video tribute honoring Anderson before its spring home opener against the Indians and observed a moment of silence for him and Hall of Famer Duke Snider, who died Sunday.
BELTRAN SHIFTING: Carlos Beltran is moving to rightfield for the Mets, with Angel Pagan taking over in center. Beltran told Pagan and new manager Terry Collins that he wanted to make the switch because of his knees.
RELIEVER RETIRES: Right-hander Bob Howry announced his retirement at age 37 after 13 seasons in the majors.
BREWERS: Rightfielder Corey Hart is expected to be sidelined for two weeks with a strained lower abdominal muscle on his left side.
CARDINALS: Right-hander Adam Wainwright had Tommy John ligament replacement surgery on his right elbow, and the team said he would be out 12-15 months.
INDIANS: Manager Manny Acta named right-hander Fausto Carmona as his starter for the season opener.
MARLINS: Rightfielder Mike Stanton said he expects to miss about two weeks with a strained right quadriceps.
NATIONALS: Bryce Harper, the 18-year-old phenom and first overall pick in last year's draft, made his much-anticipated spring debut, striking out twice against the Mets.
REDS: Left-hander Dontrelle Willis, hoping to revive a once-skyrocketing career, pitched one shaky inning in his spring debut. He gave up two hits and two unearned runs, walked a batter and committed a throwing error on a pickoff attempt in the fourth.