DETROIT -- More than 1,600 miles away from their childhood baseball diamonds, Tigers shortstop Jose Iglesias and Athletics left fielder Yoenis Cespedes are facing off in the American League Division Series.
The two Cuba natives have been seen joking around with each other throughout the series, whether it's Iglesias tapping at Cespedes' legs when he begins to take a lead from second base or Cespedes giving a playful slap at Iglesias afterwards.
"Yoenis Cespedes, I know him from Cuba, obviously," Iglesias said. "But, yeah, we're really good friends."
Cespedes first learned about Iglesias through watching him on television and seeing Iglesias dazzle for the junior national team. Now both are shining in the spotlight on baseball's biggest stage.
Miggy sets postseason record for reaching base
DETROIT -- Miguel Cabrera's health has left him limited at the plate for a while. Even at less than full strength, however, he has reached a postseason record.
With his sixth-inning single against A's starter Dan Straily in Game 4 of the American League Division Series on Tuesday, Cabrera reached base safely in his 28th consecutive postseason game, pushing him past the previous postseason record set by Philadelphia's Chase Utley from 2007-2009.
Cabrera has reached base safely in every postseason game he has played as a Tiger. Before that, he had a 15-game streak with the then-Florida Marlins in 2003.
The only two playoff games in which Cabrera has not reached base are his first, Game 1 of the 2003 NL Division Series against San Francisco, and his last that year, Game 6 of the World Series at Yankee Stadium.
Leyland OK with added scrutiny in postseason
DETROIT -- More people paying more attention. More, much more, on the line. A big difference between the regular season and the postseason, Jim Leyland said Tuesday, is that everybody has an opinion on lineup changes, how the pitching should be handled and in-game strategy.
All legitimate, the Tigers' manager added. But even though he conceded that 21-game winner Max Scherzer was an option out of the bullpen in must-win Game 4 of the American League Division Series, for the most part, Leyland doesn't believe in doing things differently in October.
"This is a time of year where it's really interesting, because everybody comes up with all these different scenarios. 'Maybe you could try this? Did you think of this and that?'" he said.
"It's interesting, but we are what we are. This is the way we play the game. This is who we are. There are no tricks. We've got [Austin] Jackson leading off and [Torii] Hunter and [Miguel] Cabrera and [Prince] Fielder and [Victor] Martinez and [Jhonny] Peralta and [Alex] Avila, [Omar] Infante. That's who our guys are. There's nothing to try to pull out of the hat, nothing different, at this time of year. There are not a lot of secrets in this."
Those comments came in the wake of Monday night's National League DS game in which Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez didn't use closer Craig Kimbrel to try for a two-inning save against the Dodgers. Instead, setup man David Carpenter allowed a two-run homer to Juan Uribe and Atlanta was eliminated.
"I've got my own problems, [but] I thought Fredi Gonzalez did it exactly right," Leyland said."Some people can disagree with that. ... That's fine. That's what this postseason is all about, different ideas and different thoughts."
Hunter's shoulder good enough for Game 4 action
DETROIT -- There was little doubt that Torii Hunter would be in the Tigers' lineup for Game 4 of their American League Division Series against the A's on Tuesday, despite the bruised shoulder he suffered on a diving attempt at a catch of Coco Crisp's fly ball in the first inning of Game 3. The only question would be how healthy he'd be.
Judging by his swings in batting practice, he's playable.
"It was kind of numb for a little bit," manager Jim Leyland said about Hunter's shoulder, referring to the innings he played in Game 3, "but he's OK."
Even if it isn't OK, he'd still be playing. However, he seems to have his swing set.
X-rays taken Monday came back negative for any structural damage, so he was back in his usual second spot in the starting lineup, playing in right field.
Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. Read Beck's Blog and follow him on Twitter @beckjason. Paul Hagen is a reporter for MLB.com. Bobby Nightengale is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.