Sunday’s lineups: Tigers at Twins

While Ricky Nolasco has put some bad numbers as a Minnesota Twin, he has put up some decent numbers against the Tigers, with a 2-1 record and 3.58 ERA in five matchups over the last two seasons. His 25 strikeouts over 27 2/3 innings facing the Tigers makes up for some damage. Half of his 12 walks against Detroit have gone to Miguel Cabrera and Victor Martinez.

tigerroarlogoTIGERS (career numbers off Nolasco)

  1. Ian Kinsler, 2B (7-for-17, 3 doubles, 2 K’s)
  2. J.D. Martinez, RF (5-for-15, walk, 2 K’s)
  3. Miguel Cabrera, 1B (3-for-11, double, 3 walks, 6 K’s)
  4. Victor Martinez, DH (5-for-11, double, 3 walks, 2 K’s)
  5. Justin Upton, LF (3-for-14, 2 walks, 4 K’s)
  6. Nick Castellanos, 3B (2-for-9, double, HR, 2 K’s)
  7. Jarrod Saltalamacchia, C (1-for-7, 2 K’s)
  8. Anthony Gose, CF (1-for-8, triple, 3 K’s)
  9. Jose Iglesias, SS (3-for-3, double, walk)

P: Mike Pelfrey

twinsshakinghandslogoTWINS

  1. Danny Santana, CF
  2. Brian Dozier, 2B
  3. Joe Mauer, 1B (0-for-3, K vs. Pelfrey)
  4. Miguel Sano, 3B
  5. Byung Ho Park, DH
  6. Osvaldo Arcia, RF
  7. Eduardo Escobar, SS
  8. Kurt Suzuki, C
  9. Eddie Rosario, LF

P: Ricky Nolasco

Saturday’s lineups: Tigers at Twins

TIGERS (career numbers off Tyler Duffey)

  1. Ian Kinsler, 2B (1-for-6)
  2. J.D. Martinez, RF (3-for-5, double, walk)
  3. Miguel Cabrera, 1B (2-for-5, walk)
  4. Victor Martinez, DH (2-for-6, K)
  5. Justin Upton, LF
  6. Nick Castellanos, 3B (3-for-6, 2 doubles, K)
  7. Jarrod Saltalamacchia, C
  8. Anthony Gose, CF (1-for-6, walk, 2 K’s)
  9. Jose Iglesias, SS

P: Jordan Zimmermann

TWINS (career numbers vs. Zimmermann)

  1. Danny Santana, CF
  2. Brian Dozier, 2B (0-for-3, K)
  3. Joe Mauer, DH
  4. Miguel Sano, RF
  5. Byung Ho Park, 1B
  6. Eduardo Escobar, SS (0-for-2, walk)
  7. Eduardo Nunez, 3B
  8. Eddie Rosario, LF
  9. John Ryan Murphy, C

P: Tyler Duffey

Friday’s lineups: Tigers at Twins

Mike Aviles gets a start at shortstop, resting Jose Iglesias with power pitcher Michael Fulmer on the mound. Bobby Wilson, meanwhile, catches Fulmer for the first time, leaving Jarrod Saltalamacchia (2-for-15 with 11 K’s against Phil Hughes) in a pinch-hit role.

TIGERS (career numbers off Phil Hughes)

  1. Ian Kinsler, 2B (8-for-34, 3 doubles, triple, 2 walks, 3 K’s)
  2. J.D. Martinez, RF (2-for-9, HR, walk, 5 K’s)
  3. Miguel Cabrera, 1B (17-for-41, 5 doubles, 5 HR, 2 walks, 5 K’s)
  4. Victor Martinez, DH (10-for-37, 2 doubles, HR, 5 K’s)
  5. Justin Upton, LF
  6. Nick Castellanos, 3B (5-for-13, 2 doubles, walk, 5 K’s)
  7. Mike Aviles, SS (5-for-19, double, 2 K’s)
  8. Bobby Wilson, C (2-for-5, K)
  9. Anthony Gose, CF (2-for-13, 3 walks, 5 K’s)

P: Michael Fulmer

TWINS

  1. Danny Santana, CF
  2. Brian Dozier, 2B
  3. Joe Mauer, 1B
  4. Miguel Sano, RF
  5. Byung Ho Park, DH
  6. Osvaldo Arcia, LF
  7. Eduardo Nunez, 3B
  8. Eduardo Escobar, SS
  9. Kurt Suzuki, C

P: Phil Hughes

Thursday’s lineups: Tigers vs. Athletics

When Brad Ausmus switched up his lineup yesterday, he was asked if it was a temporary fix.

“If we score eight runs tonight, it’s not going to be a temporary fix,” Ausmus said before last night’s 9-4 win. “You’ll see a similar lineup tomorrow.”

Aside from Jarrod Saltalamacchia getting back behind the plate, it is indeed the same batting order, with J.D. Martinez hitting second and Justin Upton fifth.

The rain is falling on Comerica Park this morning, but the forecasts suggest it’ll either move out around game time or be reduced to more of a drizzle. Even so, it’s shaping up as a chilly afternoon with temperatures in the mid-40s.

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

tigerslogoTIGERS (career numbers vs. Chris Bassitt)

  1. Ian Kinsler, 2B (2-for-8)
  2. J.D. Martinez, RF (0-for-6, K)
  3. Miguel Cabrera, 1B (1-for-7, double, K)
  4. Victor Martinez, DH (2-for-4, double, 3 walks)
  5. Justin Upton, LF
  6. Nick Castellanos, 3B (1-for-4)
  7. Jarrod Saltalamacchia, C
  8. Jose Iglesias, SS
  9. Anthony Gose, CF

P: Anibal Sanchez

athleticslogoATHLETICS (career numbers off Sanchez)

  1. Billy Burns, CF (1-for-4, triple)
  2. Jed Lowrie, 2B (2-for-19, 2 walks, 3 K’s)
  3. Josh Reddick, RF (3-for-16, 2 HR, walk, 4 K’s)
  4. Khris Davis, DH (0-for-2)
  5. Stephen Vogt, C (3-for-9, walk, 3 K’s)
  6. Mark Canha, LF (1-for-2, walk)
  7. Chris Coghlan, 3B (2-for-3, HR, K)
  8. Yonder Alonso, 1B
  9. Marcus Semien, SS

P: Chris Bassitt

Wednesday’s lineups: Tigers vs. Athletics

Change in the Tigers batting order, where J.D. Martinez and Justin Upton switch spots, putting Martinez in front of Cabrera and Upton behind Victor Martinez. It’s not necessarily a long-term change, but it’s Brad Ausmus trying to do something, anything to get his offense going.

“I was mixing it up, see if we can get something clicking,” Ausmus said. “Doesn’t mean it won’t go back to that at some point, but I’m changing a little bit because we’re not clicking right now. It’s just quite frankly throwing a blind dart, hoping something clicks. That’s all it is.”

Jose Iglesias was another to bat second, Ausmus said. Instead, he decided to give Iglesias a smaller bump up to seventh.

The A’s have some shifts, too, with Coco Crisp batting leadoff in center field, Khris Davis moving up to cleanup, and longtime Verlander nemesis Billy Butler making his first appearance of the series.

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

tigers1927logoTIGERS (career numbers off Gray)

  1. Ian Kinsler, 2B (0-for-6)
  2. J.D. Martinez, RF (2-for-6, double, 2 K’s)
  3. Miguel Cabrera, 1B (5-for-11, 2 HR, walk, 3 K’s)
  4. Victor Martinez, DH (3-for-8, walk)
  5. Justin Upton, LF (1-for-2, walk, K)
  6. Nick Castellanos, 3B (0-for-2, walk, K)
  7. Jose Iglesias, SS (1-for-5, K)
  8. Bobby Wilson, C (0-for-2, K)
  9. Anthony Gose, CF (0-for-6, 2 K’s)

P: Justin Verlander

aswhitelogoATHLETICS (career numbers vs. Verlander)

  1. Coco Crisp, CF (11-for-41, 2 doubles, 2 HR, walk, 5 K’s)
  2. Chris Coghlan, 3B (0-for-1, walk, K)
  3. Josh Reddick, RF (4-for-23, double, 2 walks, 8 K’s)
  4. Khris Davis, LF
  5. Jed Lowrie, 2B (2-for-20, double, walk, 5 K’s)
  6. Billy Butler, DH (34-for-84, 5 doubles, 2 HR, 9 walks, 13 K’s)
  7. Yonder Alonso, 1B (0-for-3)
  8. Josh Phegley, C (0-for-3)
  9. Marcus Semien, SS (3-for-10, 3 K’s)

P: Sonny Gray

Tuesday’s lineups: Tigers vs. Athletics

In a move that is less than shocking, Anthony Gose is back in the Tigers starting lineup in center field, replacing Tyler Collins. Ian Kinsler, who was scratched from last night’s lineup with flu-like symptoms, is back in the lineup, leading off. Jose Iglesias moves back down to the ninth spot against former University of Michigan standout Rich Hill.

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

tigerroarlogoTIGERS (career numbers off Hill)

  1. Ian Kinsler, 2B
  2. Justin Upton, LF
  3. Miguel Cabrera, 1B
  4. Victor Martinez, DH
  5. J.D. Martinez, RF
  6. Nick Castellanos, 3B
  7. Jarrod Saltalamacchia, C
  8. Anthony Gose, CF
  9. Jose Iglesias, SS

P: Mike Pelfrey

elephantlogoATHLETICS (career numbers vs. Pelfrey)

  1. Billy Burns, CF
  2. Chris Coghlan, 3B (4-for-18, double, 2 triples, 3 walks, K)
  3. Josh Reddick, RF
  4. Jed Lowrie, 2B (2-for-8, double, walk)
  5. Stephen Vogt, C (1-for-2, K)
  6. Coco Crisp, DH (1-for-2, HR)
  7. Khris Davis, LF
  8. Yonder Alonso, 1B (0-for-1)
  9. Marcus Semien, SS

P: Rich Hill

Collins apologizes for gesture

The first sign that Tyler Collins was having a rough night came in the previous inning, when he slammed his helmet upon striking out to end the Tigers’ big rally. Not all that unusual, but temperamental, which kind of fits Collins’ high-intensity nature.

Then Marcus Semien led off the top of the sixth and hit a fly ball to shallow center.

“It got up in those high skies, that dusk period,” Collins said after the game. “I’m looking around screaming ,‘I don’t see it.’ Nobody else sees it. It was unfortunate.”

Not as unfortunate as the reaction that followed. The fans booed, and Collins gestured.

“When Zimmermann’s cruising, and we’ve got a 6-0 lead, nobody wants that ball to get lost less than me,” Collins said. “Nobody does. That hurts. And to be at home, and to hear boos after that play, hit a trigger inside of me, and I lashed out — completely inappropriately. I’m absolutely embarrassed that it happened, and I’m sorry to everyone in Detroit.”

Brad Ausmus didn’t see it when it happened. He was alerted quickly enough and went up the dugout to see the video of it himself.

“It’s clearly something that can’t happen,” Ausmus said. “As a matter of fact, I spoke to Tyler immediately in the tunnel after it happened. I spoke to him after the game, and he regrets it. It was an emotional reaction. He knows it was wrong. He just screwed up. He’s a young guy that screwed up.”

That would be an understatement. And as Collins talked, there was more of an acknowledgement, even as he attempted to set the backdrop.

“I want you guys to understand that I love this team, and I want to win,” Collins said, “and so when we come home and get booed, it’s tough to swallow. But like I said, I apologize completely. I’m embarrassed in myself. I know my family’s embarrassed in me. I’m sure these guys are, too. I’m just sorry it happened.”

Said Ausmus: “Sometimes you’re frustrated with what’s happening on the field and then you’ve got someone yelling when the fans are in the stands yelling. And let me tell you, some of the things that get yelled at you aren’t exactly nice, either. But you’ve got to be above that. When I played, I don’t know if early in my career all the games were televised and they caught everything from my angle. But nowadays, you’ve got to be above that and you’ve got to go about your business and understand that’s part of sports. You’re going to get booed.”

Collins was booed some more when he finally came back up to bat leading off the eighth, albeit a smattering of boos after many fans had left. He stayed in the game until Ausmus replaced him with Anthony Gose for the ninth.

“I took him out late. I mean, I can’t make strategy moves, really, based on that,” Ausmus said. “If something happens and I end up short a player, then that looks kind of lame-brained. But it was addressed immediately, and it was addressed again as soon as the game ended. If anything needs to be done, we’ll handle it internally. And if Major League Baseball has a reaction, then we’ll see what their reaction is.”

Monday’s lineups (updated): Tigers vs. Athletics

UPDATE: Change in the lineup just after batting practice. Ian Kinsler scratched with flu-like symptoms, causing a pair of changes. Mike Aviles will fill in at second base, but bat ninth. Jose Iglesias, who hit second yesterday with Justin Upton getting a break, will bat leadoff tonight with Kinsler out.

Miguel Cabrera and Justin Upton return to the Tigers lineup in their customary spots after pinch-hit duty Sunday, while Tyler Collins spells Anthony Gose in center. The batting order remains pretty standard.

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

tigerpitcherlogoTIGERS (career numbers vs. Graveman)

  1. Ian Kinsler, 2B Jose Iglesias, SS (0-for-3)
  2. Justin Upton, LF (0-for-2, walk)
  3. Miguel Cabrera, 1B (1-for-3)
  4. Victor Martinez, DH
  5. J.D. Martinez, RF (0-for-3, K)
  6. Nick Castellanos, 3B (2-for-2, walk)
  7. Jarrod Saltalamacchia, C
  8. Tyler Collins, CF (1-for-2, walk)
  9. Jose Iglesias, SS (0-for-3) Mike Aviles, 2B (0-for-2)

P: Jordan Zimmermann

swinginaslogoATHLETICS (career numbers off Zimmermann)

  1. Billy Burns, CF
  2. Chris Coghlan, 3B (6-for-22, double, 6 K’s)
  3. Josh Reddick, RF
  4. Jed Lowrie, 2B (1-for-3)
  5. Stephen Vogt, C
  6. Coco Crisp, LF
  7. Khris Davis, DH (0-for-6, 3 K’s)
  8. Yonder Alonso, 1B (3-for-10, double, HR)
  9. Marcus Semien, SS

P: Kendall Graveman

Game 17: When blisters pop and bullpens stretch

The Tigers called up Matt Boyd to serve as an innings eater Sunday in case they had another early exit from a starter tax their bullpen. Shane Greene’s fourth-inning departure with a busted blister was an early exit and tested a bullpen that didn’t have Kyle Ryan available.

Given the need for long relief, however, Brad Ausmus went with Drew VerHagen over Boyd. Moreover, he stuck with VerHagen after the three-run fourth, hoping to get another inning out of him. VerHagen ended up retiring four of the 12 Cleveland batters he faced.

What gives? My initial reaction was that Boyd needs a lot more time to warm up, being a starter, and no extra warmup time given an injury replacement could allow him to replicate that on the spot. My next reaction was that Boyd is used to entering with a clean inning rather than with runners on.

Ausmus, though, cited a trust factor with VerHagen, which was more related to the second part than the first.

“The truth is, VerHagen’s pitched in tight situations before,” Ausmus said. “Felt like if VerHagen could get through that inning, get through a couple innings — it would be four, five — if we could get a lead, now we’d still have those guys at the back end that might have the ability to hold the lead.”

VerHagen said he got a heads-up an inning earlier to be ready. So even if Ausmus made the change before the fourth inning began, VerHagen was going to be his guy.

Once the Indians got hits against him, Ausmus was looking for a double play, which brought him back to square one.

“They got a couple hits off VerHagen,” Ausmus continued, “but who gets ground balls at a better rate than anyone else in our bullpen? Well, the guy standing on the mound, Drew VerHagen, which is kind of why I stuck with him hoping he got a ground ball double play and get out of it. Unfortunately the ground ball through the right side found a hole, and then a soft line drive up the middle. But the thought process was keep the game at 0-0 with one of our relievers that’s been here and that we have faith in. It just didn’t work today.”

Said VerHagen: “That’s kind of what I make my living off, being aggressive, attacking hitters, and forcing them to hit [the ball] on the ground. And if you look at the hits, most of them are on the ground. So I’ll continue my approach and hope for better next time.”

Boyd eventually did enter with two runners on, and allowed one of them to score. He did eat up the remaining innings in the game, after which he was optioned back to Toledo for Jose Valdez to serve as a placeholder reliever for the next few days until Francisco Rodriguez returns. Next time we see Boyd could well be as a starter if Shane Greene isn’t ready in five days.

Would it have been a different outcome had VerHagen and Boyd pitched in reverse order? Probably not, the way this series went. But worth noting why Ausmus sequenced it the way he did. Also worth noting that VerHagen has now pitched in every inning from the fourth to the 10th at some point already this season. He’s looking very much like this year’s Alex Wilson, even with Wilson back from the disabled list.

Sunday’s lineups: Tigers vs. Indians

The Tigers’ two-three lineup combination of Justin Upton and Miguel Cabrera broke up Sunday, if only for the afternoon. Manager Brad Ausmus gave both of them a game off, hoping a day to relax will help them shake their early-season struggles.

It’s not something he welcomed doing. With both of them seemingly fighting their own swings and plate judgments trying to spark an anemic Tigers offense, Ausmus took the chance.

“You don’t ever want to do it,” Ausmus said. “Certainly fans want to see Miggy play at Comerica Park, and I don’t blame them. But sometimes I think it’s best to give guys a breather when you think they need one, and I felt like they both could use a day. Pretty good chance it’ll never happen on the same day again the rest of the season, but I’d like them to kind of relax today, refresh their mind, reset, come back tomorrow and go at it again.”

Upton entered Sunday leading the Majors with twice as many strikeouts (30) as hits (15), batting .217 with four doubles, a home run and three RBIs. His three-strikeout game Saturday made him the first Tiger to reach 30 by the end of April since Austin Jackson and Ryan Raburn five years ago.

Ausmus installed Upton in the second spot in Detroit’s batting order shortly after he signed as a free agent January, expecting him to benefit from seeing more strikes batting in front of the formidable Cabrera. While Upton has suffered from swings and misses, Cabrera has had his own struggles, batting .210 (13-for-62) with three doubles, a home run and six RBIs. He said Friday his timing is off with his swing, much like a similarly slow April two years ago.

“Sometimes in baseball, you can beat yourself up so much when you’re struggling, it’s best to take a step back,” Ausmus said, “even if it’s just 24 hours.”

With Upton out, Jose Iglesias gets a chance in the second spot. Ausmus opted to keep Saltalamacchia behind the plate and start Andrew Romine at first base, while Mike Aviles gets a spot start in left field, a role he was lined up for before the Tigers signed Upton.

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

84tigerslogoTIGERS (career numbers off Carlos Carrasco)

  1. Ian Kinsler, 2B (7-for-25, 3 doubles, walk, 5 K’s)
  2. Jose Iglesias, SS (3-for-7, walk, 3 K’s)
  3. Victor Martinez, DH (6-for-21, 2 doubles, walk)
  4. J.D. Martinez, RF (6-for-18, 2 doubles, 2 HR, walk, 2 K’s)
  5. Nick Castellanos, 3B (4-for-14, 2 walks, 6 K’s)
  6. Jarrod Saltalamacchia, C (0-for-3, 2 K’s)
  7. Mike Aviles, LF (3-for-9, double, HR, K)
  8. Andrew Romine, 1B (1-for-4, double)
  9. Anthony Gose, CF (0-for-2, K)

P: Shane Greene

clevelandblueslogoINDIANS (career numbers against Greene)

  1. Carlos Santana, 1B (1-for-5, double, walk, K)
  2. Jason Kipnis, 2B (2-for-6)
  3. Francisco Lindor, SS
  4. Mike Napoli, DH (2-for-3, double, HR, 4 walks)
  5. Jose Ramirez, LF (1-for-1)
  6. Marlon Byrd, RF
  7. Juan Uribe, 3B
  8. Tyler Naquin, CF
  9. Roberto Perez, C (0-for-1)

P: Carlos Carrasco

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