–2B Ryan Raburn looks to be the most affected by the return of 2B Carlos Guillen. Raburn is batting .214, but he does have eight home runs and 31 RBI. For the last six weeks, he’s been the primary second baseman for Detroit. “Raburn has started to swing the bat a little bit better,” manager Jim Leyland said. “There will be some spots for him. He’ll kind of go between second and the outfield now.”
–RHP Brad Penny has won his last two starts by overcoming one big inning. He’s gone at least six innings in his last five starts, posting a 2-1 record in that span. In the bulk of his starts, Penny has given Detroit a chance to win. “That’s what we were hoping for when we signed him,” manager Jim Leyland said. “We thought this could be a workmanlike guy for us, and that’s what he’s been. Keep us in games. Give us a chance. We don’t expect Brad Penny to go out and win 18 games for us, but we felt like he could do just what he has done the last several times. He’s been pretty consistent all year long. He’s had his moments, but he’s been pretty good.” Penny has credited his catcher, Alex Avila, for changing the game plan in those last two starts.
–3B Brandon Inge was back in the starting lineup for the first time in three games Sunday but the results were the same, an 0-for-3 day that made him 0-for-20 in his last seven games. “I don’t like it,” he said of being benched Friday and Saturday. “If I did then I’d probably quit. That’s just being a competitor. Obviously, this is a rough patch. I understand completely. It is what it is. The numbers are telling what I’m hitting.” Then he noted Detroit broke its two-game losing streak. “But we can’t win without me, it seems like,” he said.
–2B Carlos Guillen said he might be a little more advanced as a right-handed hitter than a lefty after going through his rehab assignment and returning to Detroit for his first two games since last Aug. 16. Chicago switched from a right-hander to LHP Chris Sale when Guillen came up in the sixth with the score tied on Sunday. He lined a 96 mph fastball to right for a single that ended up giving Detroit a 4-3 win. “Yeah, I saw a lot of left-handed pitchers down there so I got more at-bats right-handed,” he said. “I just tried to make good contact and put the ball in play. I wanted to stay aggressive. I’ve been swinging at first pitches almost every at-bat and I want to keep it the same.” Said manager Jim Leyland: “That’s the professional hitter in Carlos. He didn’t try to do too much. He didn’t try to pull it. If he did he would have grounded to shortstop. He stayed inside it and hit it right.”
–LHP Charlie Furbush, a candidate to return to Detroit to fill a rotation vacancy Wednesday, pitched an inning of relief Sunday and allowed two runs for Class AAA Toledo. He allowed a hit and a walk and threw 19 pitches. The Tigers requested he throw a relief inning but without explanation. It could have been only an inning of work on a normal throwing day or maybe Detroit wanted to see if he’s improved his quickness to the plate with men on base, a weakness in his two starts for the Tigers before the All-Star break. Detroit is expected to announce who will pitch Wednesday following Tuesday’s game against Oakland.
BY THE NUMBERS
17 — Consecutive scoreless innings put up by Detroit hitters against White Sox pitchers until LF Brennan Boesch hit a solo home run leading off the fourth inning on Sunday.
QUOTE TO NOTE
“I definitely don’t want to go on the DL. If I can get it better with a couple days of rest, I would definitely like to do that. But you got to do what you got to do in that situation. If it turns out that I have to go on the DL to get more work on it, then so be it.” — CF Austin Jackson, on the possibility he’ll wind up on the disabled list to make sure his inflamed left wrist can heal properly so it won’t be a lingering problem the remainder of the season.
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