Detroit Tigers pitcher Justin Verlander said Wednesday he is committing $1 million to provide mental-health support to Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans who live in Detroit and two cities in his native Virginia, Richmond and Norfolk.
“One in three veterans post-9/11 needs support,” Verlander said. “They face challenges when they return that most people don’t understand. These men and women are taught to be brave and strong. When they come home, they’re not going to be the first ones to say they need help. We need to try to help these men and women.”
Verlander’s program, which is called Wins for Warriors, will contribute money to two national organizations. They are Give an Hour, which asks mental-health professionals throughout the country to donate an hour a week to provide free services, and the Mission Continues, which awards community-service fellowships.
Cabrera hurts stomach in slide
Tigers superstar Miguel Cabrera left Thursday’s game against the Oakland Athletics after hurting his abdomen while making an awkward slide trying to stretch a single into a double.
Cabrera, though, insisted he’ll be back in the lineup tonight when the American League Central-leading Tigers begin a series against the second-place Indians.
“I’m OK,” he said after teammate Torii Hunter hit a three-run homer with two out to lift Detroit to a 7-6 win over Oakland. “I’ll play [today] — don’t worry.”
The reigning Triple Crown winner limped off the field in the fifth inning against Oakland. He was listed by the team as day to day with discomfort.
Cabrera has been hobbled this month with a strain in his groin, abdominal and hip area. He previously was playing with a banged-up left leg. He got two hits before being injured, increasing his major league-leading batting average to .359. He leads baseball with 130 RBI, and his 43 homers trail only Baltimore’s Chris Davis.
After the bruising slide, Cabrera talked briefly to the team’s athletic trainer and manager Jim Leyland and left the field. The third baseman was replaced by Don Kelly.
Wright continues road back
Four weeks after straining his right hamstring, David Wright is ready for the next step in his recovery. The All-Star third baseman was headed to the New York Mets’ complex in Florida on Thursday, a day before the team begins a nine-game road trip. He said he feels fine swinging and fielding, but he’s not running full speed and isn’t ready for rehab games.
Mets manager Terry Collins had said Wright might play in a minor-league game this weekend.
“Hopefully soon,” Wright said. “I think I’m ahead of schedule.”
Around the leagues
The Los Angeles Angels placed third baseman Chris Nelson on the 15-day disabled list with a strained right hamstring and recalled infielder Luis Jimenez from Triple-A Salt Lake. … New York Yankees infielder Eduardo Nunez is day to day after an MRI on his ailing right knee was negative. Nunez had the test on the Yankees’ off day Thursday.