During a disastrous fourth inning in Monday's 11-1 loss to the Blue Jays, Toronto's Corey Patterson chopped a grounder to Cabrera. With the bases loaded and one out, Cabrera felt his only play was to relay the ball to second base for a sure force out, conceding one run.
The baseball skipped off Cabrera's hand, and he turned his back to home plate as he muffed the play. Cabrera tried to recover quickly, but he fumbled the ball a second time. Then, in a moment of frustration -- with his back still to the plate -- Cabrera continued to stab at the ball.
Eric Thames scored on the play, but Rajai Davis also took advantage of Cabrera's error. Davis moved from second base to third, and, noticing Cabrera was not paying attention, sprinted home to put the Indians in a 6-1 hole. Cleveland's deficit increased to eight runs before the inning was over.
"I was trying to get the out at second base, and after I dropped the ball," Cabrera said. "I looked to second base and I saw the guy was safe. I totally lost focus on the guy running from second to third, and going to home. By the time I realized, he was scoring.
"I think it was frustration, and I lost the instincts of where everything was in that moment."
The error contributed to a seven-run outburst by the Blue Jays, and that big inning did a number on Cleveland's chances at a comeback. Entering Tuesday, the Tribe had dropped five of its past six games, but still held a five-game lead over the Tigers for first place in the American League Central.
"The whole situation, what's happened to us," Cabrera said, "I blame myself for a lot of things. It's just another thing that I was involved in that was really bad. I was really mad about it."