Avila: Goal is over .500 by break
If you were wondering where the sense of urgency was in the Tigers clubhouse, the Tigers might have found it. Considering the schedule, this seems to be a fitting time for it.
The Tigers had just lost to Yu Darvish and the Rangers Tuesday night when Alex Avila laid out the goals the Tigers had in mind when the trip began.
“I think we all have a pretty good feeling,” Avila said at the time. “I think our goal is to get to .500 or above .500 by the end of the road trip. That’s what we want to do. We’re in a good position to do that.”
The Tigers were 2-3 on the trip at the time. They would’ve had to win four of the final five games on the trip to get there. They didn’t make it, but at 5-5 for the trip, they’re very close.
They headed home Sunday at a game under .500, and three games behind the division-leading White Sox, with seven games coming up against the Twins (4) and Royals (3) at Comerica Park before the All-Star break. They’ve had seven chances to get back to .500 since they last sat there May 15. Avila expects them to get there eventually, and thinks is the chance.
“This series is over. Whether it helps us continue to play good baseball, I don’t know,” Avila said after Sunday’s 5-3 victory over the Rays. “I know we want to finish strong going into the break and at least be over .500 by the time we get to the break. Obviously, [that means] we have to win the next two series.”
He wasn’t the only one thinking this is the time for them to at least make the first step of their move.
“It’s not a time to back off, just because we’re headed towards that break,” Austin Jackson said. “I think this is the time to really push and try to come out on top for the first half.”