Detroit Tigers: 60-45, 1st Place (2.5 ahead of Cleveland).
Today is Christmas in July at Comerica Park, featuring Santa Paws. He will have his eyes on you, Mr. Verlander. Will this outing be naughty, or nice?
The Tigers won their 4th consecutive in the two-game series opener as Alex Avila was the unexpected hero with his first career grand slam. It was a big win because Cleveland won their 6th straight, as Ryan Raburn came through with a two-run pinch-hit single. Raburn is now batting .321 for July. The Royals have also won 7 straight and crept over the .500 mark.
After the conclusion of the quick two-game series with Washington, the Tigers get another day off, then the White Sox (and Avisail Garcia) come to town, and then it is off to Cleveland. (I don’t think I can ever remember seeing a two-game series in the middle of a home stand with days off before and after).
Miguel Cabrera seemed to tweak his hip flexor yesterday charging a slow roller at 3rd. According to Kevin Rand Cabrera actually suffered an abdominal strain, and is listed as day-to-day, with today not being one of those days, and tomorrow being an off-day. There is a chance the Tigers could begin their White Sox series with a Santiago-Iglesias-Perez infield.
In better news, Omar Infante has begun running and may be able to join the team on its upcoming road trip.
Today’s Player of the Pre-game: Alex Avila. I may be pressing my luck with this one, but Avila is on a 5-game hitting streak, and has actually put up respectable numbers for July: .250 BA, .740 OPS.