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Series preview: (Angry?) Tigers vs. Indians

A month and a half has passed since the Tigers were swept out of Cleveland the first week of May. They’ve moved on since then. They’re probably remembering now.

“Next time we play Cleveland, we understand that they’ve won six in a row on us,” Ian Kinsler said at the time. “I think everybody in here knows that. So whatever you need to do to get ready to play those guys the next time we face them, then guys are going to be ready to play. …

“We’re a veteran team. We have a lot of experience. We understand what just happened. It’s not something that we concern ourselves with after the fact. You have to be ready to play these guys the next time they’re in town. We know them well, they know us well, and we’ll be ready the next time they’re in town.”

Well, here they are.

Normally, Brad Ausmus doesn’t make much about individual opponents. No series is bigger than another until the stretch run, and there’s no sense of having to beat an opponent or make a statement.

The Indians, having beaten the Tigers six times in as many games this season, are an exception. And the normally stoic Ausmus is looking for a little emotion out of his guys as they meet up for a three-game series starting tonight at Comerica Park.

“They’ve kind of whooped us, quite frankly,” Ausmus said, “and they’re throwing three guys at us that have pitched pretty well against us, too. But we’re throwing a couple of our horses at them as well. We’ve gotta find a way to win.

“I hope that the guys in this clubhouse are a little ticked that we haven’t beat them yet, and they have a little extra fire in their belly when we play them this weekend.”

The Tigers were coming off the emotional high of sweeping the Mariners, Detroit’s first four-game sweep against any team since 2012, so it was hard to tell the belly status. But they were very aware of their struggles against the Tribe.

“We didn’t play as well as we think we should’ve against those guys,” Justin Upton said. “We have to go out and play the way we’ve been playing the last few days and try to take care of business.”

Scene-setter: Resurgent Tigers, who have won four in a row with sweep of Seattle, seek revenge against Tribe, which has won six in a row, while also looking to gain ground on first place, currently four games out.

Season series: Cleveland has won all six games against Detroit this season, outscoring the Tigers by a 38-12 margin. Tribe starters are 5-0 with a 1.66 ERA in the six games. After this weekend series, the two teams will meet again for three games in Cleveland July 4-6.

Probable starters:

  • Friday: Jordan Zimmermann (9-3, 3.24) vs. Danny Salazar (8-3, 2.23)
  • Saturday: Anibal Sanchez (4-7, 5.97) vs. Carlos Carrasco (2-2, 3.26)
  • Sunday: Justin Verlander (7-5, 3.78) vs. Josh Tomlin (8-1, 3.32)

Key matchups: While Cleveland starters have ruled the Tigers so far this season, Salazar hasn’t been among them. He hasn’t faced Detroit since last year, when he went 1-3 with a 6.04 ERA in five meetings. Miguel Cabrera, 3-for-17 with no extra-base hits against Cleveland so far this year, is 9-for-26 lifetime off Salazar, including 4-for-13 last year. … Considering how most of Justin Upton’s first two months as a Tiger went, his 5-for-20 splits with three doubles against the Indians this year don’t look bad. He’s heating up, batting 21-for-71 (.296) with nine walks, 10 extra-base hits and 20 RBIs over his last 18 games, good for a .974 OPS. … Anibal Sanchez lost twice against the Indians this year, including a third-inning exit at Comerica Park on April 23. He starts Saturday in what’s shaping up as an audition to pitch in the rotation again.

Just so you know: Cleveland hasn’t won more than four games in Detroit in a season since 2008, when the Indians took five of nine. That’s also the last year the Tribe won more than 10 games from the Tigers overall, going 11-7.

Familiar faces: Rajai Davis is making the most of regular playing time in Cleveland’s outfield, batting .313 (20-for-64) with three doubles, two homers and 11 runs scored in June. He’s also 10-for-10 in stolen bases for the month, and 16-for-16 since Kyle Ryan picked him off here on April 23. … Joba Chamberlain has a 2.20 ERA in 17 appearances, allowing eight hits over 16 1/3 innings with seven walks and 17 strikeouts. … Tom Gorzelanny has tossed two hitless innings over four appearances since June 1, walking one and striking out two.

Thursday’s lineups: Tigers vs. Mariners

Even as a designated hitter, Victor Martinez needs a day off now and then. Today is one of those days. With the DH slot open, Brad Ausmus is taking the day to give Miguel Cabrera a day out of the field. That leaves first base open for … Jarrod Saltalamacchia, making his 37th career start at first but just his second start since 2007 (he started a game at 1B for Arizona last year). Andrew Romine, who might otherwise be starting at first base, is starting in center field, giving Cameron Maybin a day off his tight quad.

The Mariners are giving their star infielder a day at DH as well. Robinson Cano’s shift moves Nelson Cruz into right field and gives Shawn O’Malley a start at second.

Gameday | TV: Fox Sports Detroit, MLB.TV | Radio: 97.1 FM, MLB Gameday Audio

84tigerslogoTIGERS

  1. Ian Kinsler, 2B
  2. Jose Iglesias, SS
  3. Miguel Cabrera, DH
  4. Nick Castellanos, 3B
  5. Justin Upton, LF
  6. Steven Moya, RF
  7. James McCann, C
  8. Jarrod Saltalamacchia, 1B
  9. Andrew Romine, CF

P: Daniel Norris

mslogoMARINERS

  1. Ketel Marte, SS
  2. Franklin Gutierrez, LF
  3. Robinson Cano, DH (0-for-2, K vs. Norris)
  4. Nelson Cruz, RF
  5. Dae-Ho Lee, 1B
  6. Kyle Seager, 3B (0-for-1 vs. Norris)
  7. Chris Iannetta, C
  8. Leonys Martin, CF
  9. Shawn O’Malley, 2B

P: Adrian Sampson

Wednesday’s lineups: Tigers vs. Mariners

The good news for Michael Fulmer is that he won’t get to face Nelson Cruz, at least not in the starting lineup. On the flip side, he’ll face seven left-handed batters and a switch-hitter in the Mariners lineup. The one right-handed bat, Dae-Ho Lee, didn’t start the first two games of the series.

On the Detroit side, Steven Moya returns to the Tigers lineup after being off yesterday. Jarrod Saltalamacchia, 4-for-8 for his career off Hisashi Iwakuma, gets the start behind the plate.

Gameday | TV: Fox Sports Detroit, MLB.TV | Radio: 97.1 FM, MLB Gameday Audio


tigers1957logoTIGERS
(career numbers off Iwakuma)

  1. Ian Kinsler, 2B (11-for-29, 2 doubles, 3 HR, 2 walks, 6 K’s)
  2. Cameron Maybin, CF
  3. Miguel Cabrera, 1B (3-for-9, HR, walk, 2 K’s)
  4. Victor Martinez, DH (6-for-12, double, 2 HR, 2 walks, K)
  5. Nick Castellanos, 3B (3-for-7, double, HR, walk, 2 K’s)
  6. Justin Upton, LF (1-for-3)
  7. Steven Moya, RF
  8. Jarrod Saltalamacchia, C (4-for-8, double, K)
  9. Jose Iglesias, SS (3-for-10, 3 K’s)

P: Michael Fulmer

oldseattlelogoMARINERS

  1. Leonys Martin, CF
  2. Seth Smith, RF
  3. Robinson Cano, 2B
  4. Dae-Ho Lee, 1B
  5. Kyle Seager, 3B
  6. Adam Lind, DH
  7. Ketel Marte, SS
  8. Steve Clevinger, C
  9. Nori Aoki, LF

P: Hisashi Iwakuma

Tuesday’s lineups: Tigers vs. Mariners

Mike Aviles gets the start in right field over Steven Moya with lefty James Paxton on the mound for the M’s. Other than that, regular lineup.

84tigerslogoTIGERS (career numbers vs. Paxton)

  1. Ian Kinsler, 2B (0-for-3)
  2. Cameron Maybin, CF
  3. Miguel Cabrera, 1B (3-for-5, 2 doubles, walk, K)
  4. Victor Martinez, DH (1-for-4, double, 2 walks)
  5. Nick Castellanos, 3B (0-for-2)
  6. Justin Upton, LF (0-for-3, 2 K’s)
  7. Mike Aviles, RF (0-for-3)
  8. James McCann, C
  9. Jose Iglesias, SS (0-for-2)

P: Justin Verlander

oldmarinerslogoMARINERS (career numbers vs. Verlander)

  1. Leonys Martin, CF (1-for-6, walk, K)
  2. Seth Smith, DH (4-for-24, HR, 7 walks, 8 K’s)
  3. Robinson Cano, 2B (9-for-49, 2 doubles, triple, 2 walks, 9 K’s)
  4. Nelson Cruz, RF (8-for-34, double, 3 HR, walk, 10 K’s)
  5. Kyle Seager, 3B (5-for-9, 3 doubles, HR, walk)
  6. Adam Lind, 1B (5-for-20, 2 HR, 2 walks, 3 K’s)
  7. Chris Iannetta, C (3-for-11, 2 doubles, 3 K’s)
  8. Ketel Marte, SS
  9. Nori Aoki, LF (4-for-14, 5 walks, 2 K’s)

P: James Paxton

Monday’s lineups: Tigers vs. Mariners


Ian Kinsler returns after a day off to what is pretty much a regular lineup. With Casey McGehee now off the roster, designated for assignment after a pinch-hit appearance to make room for reliever Dustin Molleken, the Tigers are back to a three-man bench with Jarrod Saltalamacchia, Andrew Romine and Mike Aviles.

Gameday | TV: Fox Sports Detroit, MLB.TV | Radio: 97.1 FM, MLB Gameday Audio

tigerslogoTIGERS (career numbers off Nathan Karns)

  1. Ian Kinsler, 2B (0-for-4)
  2. Cameron Maybin, CF
  3. Miguel Cabrera, 1B (0-for-0, walk)
  4. Victor Martinez, DH (2-for-3)
  5. Nick Castellanos, 3B (2-for-4)
  6. Justin Upton, LF (3-for-3)
  7. Steven Moya, RF
  8. James McCann, C (0-for-2)
  9. Jose Iglesias, SS (0-for-2, K)

P: Mike Pelfrey

marinerslogoMARINERS (career numbers vs. Pelfrey)

  1. Leonys Martin, CF (1-for-5)
  2. Seth Smith, RF (7-for-17, 2 doubles, triple, HR, 4 walks, 2 K’s)
  3. Robinson Cano, 2B (3-for-17, double, walk)
  4. Nelson Cruz, DH (1-for-6, K)
  5. Kyle Seager, 3B (1-for-5)
  6. Adam Lind, 1B (1-for-6, 2 walks, 3 K’s)
  7. Chris Iannetta, C (7-for-15, 2 HR, 3 walks, 2 K’s)
  8. Nori Aoki, LF
  9. Ketel Marte, SS (3-for-3)

P: Nathan Karns

Sunday’s lineups: Tigers at Royals


Ian Kinsler’s rare day off avoids the matchup with Chris Young, off whom he’s 2-for-15. But then, aside from Justin Upton, the Tigers don’t have a whole lot of good numbers against Young. Mike Aviles, 6-for-22 on this trip, gets the start at second. Cameron Maybin moves up to the leadoff spot.

Those of you who were complaining about the FOX broadcast last night will be happy to have the Tigers back on FSD. Mario Impemba, Rod Allen and John Keating are back to work after a Saturday off on the road.

Gameday | TV: Fox Sports Detroit, MLB.TV | Radio: 97.1 FM, MLB Gameday Audio

1945tigerslogoTIGERS (career numbers off Chris Young)

  1. Cameron Maybin, CF (0-for-2)
  2. Mike Aviles, 2B (1-for-6, double, 2 walks, K)
  3. Miguel Cabrera, 1B (2-for-20, HR, 2 walks, 5 K’s)
  4. Victor Martinez, DH (3-for-15, double, HR, 2 walks, 3 K’s)
  5. Nick Castellanos, 3B (1-for-10, double, 3 K’s)
  6. Justin Upton, LF (5-for-15, double, 2 walks, 6 K’s)
  7. Steven Moya, RF
  8. James McCann, C (0-for-3, K)
  9. Jose Iglesias, SS (0-for-3, K)

P: Jordan Zimmermann

royalslogonotextROYALS (career numbers vs. Zimmermann)

  1. Whit Merrifield, 2B
  2. Alcides Escobar, SS (1-for-6, K)
  3. Eric Hosmer, 1B (2-for-7, 2 K’s)
  4. Salvador Perez, C (2-for-2, double, walk)
  5. Kendrys Morales, DH (2-for-6, K)
  6. Paulo Orlando, RF
  7. Brett Eibner, LF
  8. Cheslor Cuthbert, 3B
  9. Jarrod Dyson, CF (0-for-2)

P: Chris Young

Saturday’s lineups: Tigers at Royals


Cameron Maybin returns to the Tigers lineup after missing the first two games of the series to deal with left quad tightness. Victor Martinez remains in the lineup at DH after it looked like his knee might have buckled out of the box in the sixth inning (Ausmus said he simply slipped). Casey McGehee, promoted this afternoon from Triple-A Toledo, is available off the bench, restoring Detroit’s bench depth to four players.

A reminder: Tonight is a FOX network broadcast, rather than Fox Sports Detroit. Adjust your channels accordingly.

Gameday | TV: FOX, MLB.TV | Radio: 97.1 FM, MLB Gameday Audio

tigers1957logoTIGERS (career numbers off Edinson Volquez)

  1. Ian Kinsler, 2B (8-for-20, 2 doubles, walk, 2 K’s)
  2. Cameron Maybin, CF (0-for-1, walk, K)
  3. Miguel Cabrera, 1B (5-for-11, double, 3 walks)
  4. Victor Martinez, DH (3-for-18, double, walk, 2 K’s)
  5. Nick Castellanos, 3B (4-for-11, double, 3 walks, 4 K’s)
  6. Justin Upton, LF (8-for-20, 4 doubles, walk, 4 K’s)
  7. Steven Moya, RF
  8. Jarrod Saltalamacchia, C (1-for-7, double, walk, 4 K’s)
  9. Jose Iglesias, SS (3-for-13, K)

P: Matt Boyd

royalsbigrlogoROYALS (career numbers against Boyd)

  1. Whit Merrifield, 2B
  2. Alcides Escobar, SS (2-for-6, K)
  3. Eric Hosmer, 1B (3-for-8, double, walk, K)
  4. Lorenzo Cain, CF (3-for-10, double, HR, walk, 3 K’s)
  5. Salvador Perez, C (1-for-8, K)
  6. Kendrys Morales, DH (6-for-9, double, triple, HR)
  7. Paulo Orlando, RF
  8. Brett Eibner, LF
  9. Cheslor Cuthbert, 3B (1-for-1)

P: Edinson Volquez

Friday’s lineups: Tigers at Royals


Steven Moya gets the start in right field, batting seventh, as the Tigers move on without J.D. Martinez. Look for Moya to get close to regular playing time, according to manager Brad Ausmus, with Mike Aviles starting against some lefties.

Cameron Maybin is out of the lineup for one more day. He passed his running tests Friday afternoon, but Ausmus said they’re going to give him one more day as a precaution before bringing him back. He is available to pinch-hit or pinch-run.

Yordano Ventura is still awaiting the appeals hearing on the suspension he received for hitting (and fighting) Manny Machado earlier this month. The Royals could try to time his suspension around an off-day so that they could simply skip his spot in the rotation without needing another starter.

Gameday | TV: Fox Sports Detroit, MLB.TV | Radio: 97.1 FM, MLB Gameday Audio

tigerslogoTIGERS (career numbers against Ventura)

  1. Ian Kinsler, 2B (6-for-16, double, walk, 2 K’s)
  2. Jose Iglesias, SS (2-for-11, K)
  3. Miguel Cabrera, 1B (3-for-10, double, walk, 4 K’s)
  4. Victor Martinez, DH (4-for-16, 2 HR, 2 walks, 2 K’s)
  5. Nick Castellanos, 3B (1-for-11, walk, 4 K’s)
  6. Justin Upton, LF (1-for-2, walk, K)
  7. Steven Moya, RF
  8. James McCann, C (1-for-6, K)
  9. Andrew Romine, CF (1-for-7, walk, 2 K’s)

P: Michael Fulmer

royalslogonotextROYALS

  1. Whit Merrifield, 2B
  2. Alcides Escobar, SS
  3. Eric Hosmer, 1B
  4. Lorenzo Cain, CF
  5. Salvador Perez, C
  6. Kendrys Morales, DH
  7. Paulo Orlando, RF
  8. Brett Eibner, LF
  9. Cheslor Cuthbert, 3B

P: Yordano Ventura

Thursday’s lineups: Tigers at Royals

Victor Martinez returns to the Tigers lineup at DH, but Cameron Maybin isn’t starting for the second time in three days. Justin Upton shifts over to center, with Mike Aviles making his fifth consecutive start coming off back-to-back two-hit games. Jose Iglesias bats second.

Gameday | TV: Fox Sports Detroit, MLB.TV | Radio: 97.1 FM, MLB Gameday Audio

tigerroarlogoTIGERS (career numbers against Danny Duffy)

  1. Ian Kinsler, 2B (3-for-17, HR, 2 walks, 2 K’s)
  2. Jose Iglesias, SS (2-for-7, K)
  3. Miguel Cabrera, 1B (6-for-21, 3 doubles, 8 walks, 6 K’s)
  4. Victor Martinez, DH (7-for-23, double, 2 walks, K)
  5. J.D. Martinez, RF (1-for-13, HR, 2 walks, 7 K’s)
  6. Nick Castellanos, 3B (5-for-16, triple, 3 K’s)
  7. Justin Upton, CF (0-for-1, K)
  8. James McCann, C (2-for-8, 2 K’s)
  9. Mike Aviles, LF (3-for-13, 2 doubles, 3 walks, 3 K’s)

P: Justin Verlander

sluggerrrrROYALS (career numbers vs. Verlander)

  1. Whit Merrifield, 2B
  2. Alcides Escobar, SS (12-for-66, 3 doubles, 2 walks, 6 K’s)
  3. Eric Hosmer, 1B (19-for-69, 5 doubles, triple, HR, 4 walks, 11 K’s)
  4. Lorenzo Cain, CF (7-for-27, double, HR, 6 K’s)
  5. Salvador Perez, C (21-for-44, 7 doubles, 2 HR, 6 K’s)
  6. Kendrys Morales, DH (12-for-34, 4 doubles, 2 HR, 8 K’s)
  7. Paulo Orlando, RF (1-for-3, double, K)
  8. Cheslor Cuthbert, 3B
  9. Brett Eibner, LF

P: Danny Duffy

Wednesday’s lineups: Tigers at White Sox

Not back on the beat until tomorrow, but posting lineups while traveling after draft duty and off-time kept me away for a few days. Victor Martinez had knee issues while I was away and remains out. Given Martinez’s numbers against Chris Sale, that’s a sign of at least some seriousness. Justin Upton gets a night at DH, with Mike Aviles — back in the lineup after injuring his wrist yesterday — starting in left. Other than that, pretty standard lineup.

Gameday | TV: Fox Sports Detroit, MLB.TV | Radio: 97.1 FM, MLB Gameday Audio

tigerhitterlogoTIGERS (career numbers off Sale)

  1. Ian Kinsler, 2B (6-for-31, 2 HR, 5 walks, 6 K’s)
  2. Cameron Maybin, CF (2-for-4)
  3. Miguel Cabrera, 1B (9-for-36, 2 HR, 9 walks, 12 K’s)
  4. Nick Castellanos, 3B (1-for-19, walk, 10 K’s)
  5. J.D. Martinez, RF (7-for-24, 2 doubles, 2 HR, 3 walks, 12 K’s)
  6. Justin Upton, DH
  7. James McCann, C (2-for-10, walk, 4 K’s)
  8. Mike Aviles, LF (6-for-34, HR, 2 walks, 3 K’s)
  9. Jose Iglesias, SS (6-for-14, double, K)

P: Mike Pelfrey

whitelogo1939logoWHITE SOX (career numbers opposite Pelfrey)

  1. Tim Anderson, SS
  2. Adam Eaton, RF (4-for-10, triple)
  3. Jose Abreu, 1B (4-for-11, double)
  4. Melky Cabrera, LF (7-for-25, double, 4 walks, 3 K’s)
  5. Todd Frazier, 3B (2-for-5, walk, K)
  6. Dioner Navarro, C (2-for-6)
  7. Brett Lawrie, 2B (1-for-8, K)
  8. Avisail Garcia, DH (6-for-15, double, K)
  9. J.B. Shuck, CF (1-for-8)

P: Chris Sale

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