The cramping started as he ran out a fifth-inning groundout, Ramirez said after the game, and he had the leg stretched out in the dugout after the at-bat.
"I felt that in the fifth inning when I was running to the base," said Ramirez, who doubled home a run in the first, through translator and White Sox coach Lino Diaz. "I stepped on it and it felt like something sharp was coming out but it was more so like a cramp.
"When I went to hit again in the sixth, it really intensified. It really cramped up on me."
This injury was only part of Ramirez's dramatics.
Two batters after Josh Phegley gave the White Sox a 5-3 lead with his first career grand slam, Detroit reliever Luke Putkonen threw behind Ramirez's back side on the first pitch of his at-bat. Ramirez walked toward the mound pointing at Putkonen, and both benches and bullpens emptied. Words were exchanged but no punches were thrown.
Putkonen's pitch came one inning after Chris Sale threw up-and-in to Fielder in the at-bat following Miguel Cabrera's opposite-field homer on a 3-2 pitch with the bases empty and two outs. Detroit manager Jim Leyland, who engaged in a spirited and extended argument with home-plate umpire Chad Fairchild, was ejected along with Putkonen.
Ramirez's perceived intent of Putkonen's pitch caused him to react as he did. After the game, Ramirez said he intended to play in Friday's series opener in Philadelphia, the White Sox final first-half series.
"I'm going to wait until tomorrow, but I always come to the park to play," said Ramirez, who would be replaced by Gordon Beckham at shortstop if he was to miss his first game of the season. "I feel good after I got treatment and stuff like that."
Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Merk's Works, and follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.