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Talkin’ Tigers Week in Review: Spot Starters Provide Detroit Tigers with Big Lift at Right Time

September 1st, 2014 at 1:54 PM
By Max DeMara

The Detroit Tigers clawed back to even in the Central Division, and the reason this was possible, other than the Kansas City Royals falling to earth, was some clutch spot starters from unknown pitchers.

Facing trouble after the uncertain arm diagnosis of Anibal Sanchez, the Tigers turned to a pair of rookie unknowns to step in and provide the team with starts in a definite pinch. First, Kyle Lobstein and second, Kyle Ryan. Each stepped up and delivered in big spots, pitching Detroit through with solid results.

First, Lobstein on Thursday. Pitching against a New York Yankees lineup which had worn out David Price the night before, it was hard to say what to expect from Lobstein, who most figured to be a fringe major league pitcher coming in. Through six innings, Lobstein didn't disappoint, only allowing one earned run on four hits and giving Detroit a chance to win late.

Then on Saturday, Detroit was facing a potential crisis situation during game two of a double header against the Chicago White Sox. After losing the first game to Chris Sale, the Tigers were turning to Ryan to pitch them through game two and give them a chance to win. Going against another rookie, he did just that, getting the win without allowing a run on five hits in six innings.

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Detroit Tigers Call up Steven Moya, James McCann, Others as Part of Roster Expansion

September 1st, 2014 at 10:39 AM
By Max DeMara

The Detroit Tigers didn't make any last minute moves to shore up their roster via the trade market, so they'll be depending on reinforcements from within the organization to do the trick through September.

This week, the Tigers will call up seven of their prospects to the major league level as part of September's roster expansion. Joining the big club will be outfielders Steven Moya and Tyler Collins, infielder Hernan Perez, catcher James McCann and pitchers Robbie Ray, Kyle Lobstein and Kyle Ryan.

During parts of this year, all have excelled at stops such as AA Erie and AAA Toledo. Moya is perhaps the most notable to get the call, given he was the Eastern League MVP and clubbed 35 home runs and 105 RBI with the Erie Sea Wolves, stealing headlines all season long.

McCann has been producing, hitting .295 with seven home runs and 54 RBI's in Toledo, while Perez has hit .287 with six home runs and 53 RBI. Both have been discussed as potential call ups before their promotion this month.

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Miguel Cabrera’s Ankle Injury Cause for Significant Detroit Tigers Concern in Weeks Ahead

August 31st, 2014 at 10:00 AM
By Max DeMara

The Detroit Tigers have pulled back even in the Central Division and also have a nice cushion in the wild card race after splitting a day-night doubleheader Saturday with the Chicago White Sox.

However, that doesn't seem to be the biggest bit of holiday weekend news coming out of the Windy City. The seemingly rapid decline of Miguel Cabrera's health, on the other hand, is stealing the headlines, and rightfully so.

It was a rough few games in Chicago for Cabrera, who has struggled to make an impact with the bat. In the series opener, he was 0-5 with one strikeout. During Saturday's first game, he was 1-4 with three strikeouts. In the nightcap, Cabrera did contribute an RBI, but was 0-3 otherwise.

Much like last year during the playoffs, it's clear Cabrera is hurting. He's painfully lumbering down the line with a grimace. His swings look frustrating, and considering the health of his ankle, his cuts looks to be uncomfortable and out of whack. It's been tough to watch Cabrera play through the pain.

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Thursday’s Clutch Hitting Exactly What Alex Avila Could Need to Get Going for Detroit Tigers

August 29th, 2014 at 10:36 AM
By Max DeMara

For months, people have been waiting for Alex Avila to come around at the plate. With an average hanging around .220, it hasn't exactly happened for the catcher.

Thursday, though, Avila showed signs of pulling through his trouble, contributing two important RBI's in a 3-2 win over the New York Yankees. Early, Avila connected on a sacrifice fly to put Detroit on top. Then, he clubbed the game winning hit off Shawn Kelley in the bottom of the ninth.

For Avila, the final hit was notable for two reasons. One, it came with runners on base and the game hanging in the balance, obviously. Two, it came after a pair of other Tigers had failed to get the job done. Both Nick Castellanos and Torii Hunter had struck out, leading to concerns that Detroit's offense would once again squander the opportunity to break through in a big spot.

In those situations during 2014, Avila has come up small, often striking out or failing to make productive contact. The fact he went first pitch swinging and came away with a hot shot was notable. Additionally, the fact he made a productive out early was also important. Two good at-bats produced runs.

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Detroit Tigers Win Close Contest, Top New York Yankees on Walk Off Hit from Alex Avila

August 28th, 2014 at 5:12 PM
By Max DeMara

DETROIT—Thursday morning, the Detroit Tigers didn't know what to expect from Kyle Lobstein. By Thursday afternoon, it was clear he had delivered in a big way. Detroit walked off against the New York Yankees, gutting out a 3-2 win after both starter and his bullpen had held the fort well.

Whatever nerves Lobstein may have had making his first start at Comerica Park were calmed early with a quick first inning, as he set the Yankees down in order. He received some quick run support for confidence in the second after Nick Castellanos and Don Kelly singled and Alex Avila clubbed a sacrifice fly.

New York struck back in the third, getting a run off a Jacoby Ellsbury single. The run was made possible by a Castllanos throwing error at third. The Yankees took a 2-1 lead in the fourth when Brian McCann plated a runner thanks to a groundout. Detroit pulled back even in the fifth thanks to a Rajai Davis single.

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