5/27/2013 12:02 P.M. ET
Bucs not willing to take chances with Tigers' Cabrera
By Tom Singer / MLB.com
DETROIT -- The Pirates hit town with a baseball "contract" out on Miguel Cabrera.
Manager Clint Hurdle did not try to hide the fact the Bucs would be giving Cabrera -- who he called "the best hitter in baseball" -- four-finger salutes in the form of intentional walks and take their chances with the man protecting him in the Tigers' lineup, Prince Fielder.
Left-hander Mike Zagurski had his contract selected from Indianapolis to help carry out the strategy. Zagurski may not be the man assigned Fielder -- the pitcher's numbers actually are better against right-handed hitters, thanks to a wicked slider -- but his presence gives Hurdle more leeway with the other southpaw relievers, Tony Watson and Justin Wilson.
"You're going to pass on Cabrera more often that not, and take whatever comes your way with Fielder," Hurdle said.
The Pirates will take that tack even though Fielder of late has been lethal following walks of Cabrera, who leads the Majors with 57 RBIs in 48 team games. Fielder has gone 6-for-6, with eight RBIs, in the last six games after Cabrera walks.
"In this lineup, [Fielder] fits very well. You want somebody who is legit [behind Cabrera]," Hurdle said. "That 3-4 is as good as anybody has in the game."
Pirates call up Harrison, Zagurski
DETROIT -- The Pirates shuffled their roster with the start of the next round of Interleague Play, putting outfielder Jose Tabata on the disabled list and optioning right-hander Bryan Morris to Indianapolis on Monday morning, replacing them with versatile Josh Harrison and lefty Mike Zagurski.
Zagurski had to be selected from the Triple-A Indians because he was not yet on the club's 40-man roster. That spot became available when Jeff Karstens was moved from the normal 15- to the 60-day disabled list.
Tabata has dealt for a few days with a left oblique strain, and the Pirates decided to DL him -- retroactive to May 25 -- to avoid having to play a man short.
"It wasn't an option to play with a short bench against this ballclub," said Pirates manager Clint Hurdle, referring to the Tigers, the Pirates' opponents for the next four games. "We wanted somebody [Harrison] who can go defend in multiple places. He can [play] right field."
Harrison is starting his third stint of the season with the big league club and was hitting .279 in 35 games with the Indians.
The Zagurski-for-Morris switch clearly was provoked by the presence in Detroit's lineup of left-handed slugger Prince Fielder, as well as a trio of switch-hitters.
"The speed of his fastball and the depth of his slider are both better than what we saw in Spring Training," Hurdle said of Zagurski, who had been one of the final preseason cuts after going through camp on a non-roster basis. "The numbers against left-handers have been good, but the numbers against right-handers have been silly."
Zagurski had a 2.14 ERA in 19 relief appearances for Indianapolis, with 37 strikeouts in 21 innings.
Morris appeared in 11 games for the Pirates, going 1-2 with a 3.45 ERA.
"He gave us a shot in the arm," Hurdle said of the righty. "He did some good things here, and I'm sure we'll see him again."
Inge receives ALCS ring Monday
DETROIT -- To understand and appreciate what Brandon Inge meant to the Tigers during his 11-plus seasons with the club, all you needed to see was Detroit general manager Dave Dombrowski make a special Monday morning visit to the Pirates clubhouse to greet the infielder.
But Dombrowski gave Inge more than his regards. He gave him a 2012 American League Championship Series ring -- for all of the nine games Inge played with the Tigers last season in April.
"It came as a surprise. A nice surprise," Inge said. "A wonderful gesture."
"Brandon was here for only nine games last year, but it shows the great awareness they have for what he meant for 11 years," Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said. "He did a lot for the organization and for the community. His service speaks for itself. Good for him. Well done, well deserved."
First number, last word
22: Most wins in the month of May for the Pirates, achieved in 1902. The current Pirates took a May record of 16-7 into Monday's game, but, with five games remaining in the month, can't touch the 111-year-old record.
"He can get a hit off Verlander if we need one." -- Hurdle, on why the Pirates decided to call up Josh Harrison -- whose single with one out in the ninth inning broke up Justin Verlander's no-hit bid against the Pirates on May 18, 2012.
• Inge on Monday played his first game as a visiting player in Comerica Park, where the former Tigers mainstay still holds house records for most games played (719) and hits (567) and ranks second in home runs (76), extra-base hits (200), RBIs (332) and runs (272).
• Southpaw Francisco Liriano took the mound Monday with 18 victories by Pirates lefties -- starters and relievers -- already in the books. That was the most in the Majors, with the Braves ranking second with 17 wins by left-handers.
Tom Singer is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog Change for a Nickel. He can also be found on Twitter @Tom_Singer. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.