Tigers' win streak comes to a halt vs. Astros

Tigers' win streak comes to a halt vs. Astros

DETROIT -- Lance McCullers earned his first Major League victory in the same city where his father earned his next-to-last Major League win 25 years ago. His six quality innings, helped by a fifth-inning triple play, allowed the Houston Astros to piece together a go-ahead rally in the sixth for a 3-2 win over the Tigers Saturday afternoon at Comerica Park.

McCullers (1-0), whose father, Lance McCullers Sr., pitched for the Tigers in 1990, survived an Anthony Gose RBI double in the third inning and a James McCann double and score in the fifth to toss six innings of two-run ball on six hits with an intentional walk and six strikeouts. He avoided add-on runs in the fifth when Jonathan Villar, Jose Altuve and Chris Carter turned a triple play on an Ian Kinsler grounder with Miguel Cabrera on deck.

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Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. Read Beck's Blog and follow him on Twitter @beckjason. Chris Vannini is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Iglesias day to day with left knee contusion

Iglesias day to day with left knee contusion

DETROIT -- What began as a potential highlight day for Jose Iglesias ended early with a bruised left knee. He left Saturday's 3-2 loss to the Astros in the fifth inning after a collision at first base on an infield single.

The Tigers classified the injury as a left knee contusion and listed him as day to day. There was no further information after the game, according to manager Brad Ausmus.

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Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. Read Beck's Blog, follow him on Twitter @beckjason and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Tigers ground into triple play vs. Astros

Tigers ground into triple play vs. Astros

DETROIT -- When Jonathan Villar has children, the Astros' utility infielder is looking forward to telling them about the Saturday afternoon he started a triple play in a 3-2 win at Comerica Park.

He imagines describing the scene: runners on first and second in the fifth inning with no outs, and Tigers second baseman Ian Kinsler at the plate. Maybe Villar will remember how, in the moment before Kinsler swung at the 2-1 offering from Lance McCullers, he was itching for a ground ball to be hit to him.

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Alejandro Zúñiga is an associate reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @ByAZuniga. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Detroit's dynamic double-play duo at it again

Kinsler, Iglesias combine to turn two with style in first inning vs. Astros

Detroit's dynamic double-play duo at it again

DETROIT -- Tigers middle infielders Ian Kinsler and Jose Iglesias have made a habit of combining for spectacular double plays.

On Saturday afternoon against the Astros, the duo dazzled again. In the first inning, George Springer hit a hard ground ball back up the middle. With many other second basemen, it would've gone into center field for a single, but Kinsler made the backhand grab and flipped an underhanded toss to Iglesias. The shortstop turned and fired accurately to first baseman Miguel Cabrera despite a hard slide from Jonathan Villar.

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Alejandro Zúñiga is an associate reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @ByAZuniga. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Ausmus: 'Joba's the eighth-inning guy'

Reliever solidifies role with clean 8th vs. Astros

Ausmus: 'Joba's the eighth-inning guy'

Before the Tigers gave themselves some breathing room with a three-run eighth inning in Friday's 6-2 win, they sought a clean outing from Joba Chamberlain against the top of the Astros' order.

A stress-free inning hasn't quite been the norm from the right-handed reliever, who entered having allowed hits in five of his last eight appearances. But on Friday, he had no issues dispatching Houston, and, in the process, perhaps solidifying his role as Detroit's setup man.

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Alejandro Zúñiga is an associate reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @ByAZuniga. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Sanchez looks to rebound, keep Tigers hot in finale

Sanchez looks to rebound, keep Tigers hot in finale

The Tigers' seven-game homestand ends Sunday afternoon as Anibal Sanchez faces the Astros, who will start right-hander Roberto Hernandez for the series finale at Comerica Park.

Both pitchers have struggled with the long ball, but Sanchez (3-5, 5.60 ERA) has had the bigger issues. In his last start, Tuesday against Milwaukee, the right-hander surrendered three straight home runs and was pulled after 3 2/3 innings.

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Alejandro Zúñiga is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

J.D. Martinez filling Tigers' cleanup void

J.D. Martinez filling Tigers' cleanup void

DETROIT -- J.D. Martinez watched his first-pitch drive off Collin McHugh head deep to left field and hoped for the best. It wasn't a crushing blow to him to see it turn foul.

"Really, surprisingly, it wasn't," he said after the Tigers' 6-2 win on Friday. "Usually they are. I hit it and I was like, 'Whoo, that felt good.' I thought it was going to be able to stay fair. But I still had that I've-still-got-him feeling."

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Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. Read Beck's Blog and follow him on Twitter @beckjason. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Simon keeps aggressive Astros guessing in win

Veteran gives up two unearned runs in seven innings

Simon keeps aggressive Astros guessing in win

DETROIT -- Alfredo Simon's strangest pitch of Friday night, an eephus, was so slow it didn't register on the Comerica Park radar gun. Evan Gattis, the Astros' designated hitter, didn't bite.

But enough of Simon's offerings kept Houston guessing, and the right-hander settled down after allowing two unearned runs in the third inning to toss seven frames in the Tigers' 6-2 win.

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Alejandro Zúñiga is an associate reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @ByAZuniga. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Martinez, Simon propel Tigers to 3rd straight 'W'

Martinez, Simon propel Tigers to 3rd straight 'W'

DETROIT -- J.D. Martinez's three-run home run helped power Alfredo Simon through seven strong innings, sending the Tigers to their second straight win over the American League West-leading Astros -- and third straight overall -- with a 6-2 victory Friday night at Comerica Park.

Martinez's ninth home run of the year was a two-out shot that salvaged a third-inning scoring chance created by back-to-back singles from Jose Iglesias and Anthony Gose, the latter coming on a well-placed bunt to the right side. Astros starter Collin McHugh (5-2) overcame it to last seven innings, but Houston's high-power, low-average offense couldn't get him the lead back.

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Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. Read Beck's Blog and follow him on Twitter @beckjason. Chris Vannini is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Trying next step, Verlander to throw sim game

Rehabbing righty scheduled to face Tigers hitters Tuesday in Oakland

Trying next step, Verlander to throw sim game

DETROIT -- Six weeks after Justin Verlander threw a simulated game and fell short of his goal, he's scheduled to throw another one. He'll face a group of Tigers hitters Tuesday afternoon in Oakland, where Detroit faces the A's next week, as he tries the next step in his rehab process.

Verlander threw an extended bullpen session Thursday at Comerica Park, sitting down and getting back up to simulate innings breaks in his start. He threw his regular pregame warmup routine in the bullpen, about 45 pitches by manager Brad Ausmus' estimation, then two innings of 15 pitches each, with eight warmup pitches beforehand.

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Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. Read Beck's Blog and follow him on Twitter @beckjason. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Versatile Wilson relishing time in Tigers' bullpen

Righty earns first win with Detroit in opener vs. Astros

Versatile Wilson relishing time in Tigers' bullpen

DETROIT -- Alex Wilson's time as a Tiger began with relative anonymity.

Part of a deal with the Red Sox that brought Yoenis Cespedes to Detroit last December, Wilson didn't crack the Opening Day roster. But the right-hander was recalled from Triple-A Toledo by the Tigers on April 22, and, since surrendering runs in two of his first three appearances, has been a reliable addition to the bullpen.

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Alejandro Zúñiga is an associate reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @ByAZuniga. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

McCann enjoys winning trek around bases

Game-winning shot sets off Tigers' celebration

McCann enjoys winning trek around bases

DETROIT -- The last time James McCann hit a walk-off home run, he was still in college. He powered Arkansas past LSU four years ago in front of a record crowd in Fayetteville, Ark., and a national television audience.

The last time McCann hit a ball over the fence was his final game as a Toledo Mud Hen last August. His first Major League home run April 29 was an inside-the-park homer at Minnesota.

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Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. Read Beck's Blog, follow him on Twitter @beckjason and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

McCann's HR in 11th lifts Tigers past Astros

McCann's HR in 11th lifts Tigers past Astros

DETROIT -- Preston Tucker's first Major League home run sent the Astros into extra innings against the Tigers after a five-run deficit, but James McCann's second career homer was a walk-off shot for Detroit in the 11th, sending the Tigers to a 6-5 win Thursday afternoon at Comerica Park.

The Astros came to town for a series-opening matinee leading the American League in home runs and strikeouts, and lived up to both. After 12 strikeouts over 6 2/3 innings from reigning AL strikeout champion David Price, Houston rallied with five runs from the seventh inning on, capped by Tucker's pinch-hit homer off Joakim Soria. McCann answered with his first traditional home run, sending Tony Sipp's offering out to left leading off the bottom of the 11th. His only previous shot was an inside-the-park home run April 29 at Minnesota.

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Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. Read Beck's Blog, follow him on Twitter @beckjason and listen to his podcast. Catherine Slonksnis is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

A better Price may be difficult to find

Lefty eases way through 6 2/3 with 12 strikeouts

A better Price may be difficult to find

DETROIT -- Forget David Price's first start of the season, an 8 2/3-inning gem, or his complete-game win on May 2. The Tigers left-hander said Thursday afternoon's performance against the Astros was better.

During Detroit's eventual 6-5 win at Comerica Park, Price set a new season high with 12 strikeouts in 6 2/3 innings, and was nearly untouchable until Houston tallied three runs -- two earned -- in the seventh.

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Alejandro Zúñiga is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Miggy fifth-youngest to reach 1,400 RBIs

Miggy fifth-youngest to reach 1,400 RBIs

DETROIT -- Miguel Cabrera became the 76th player in Major League history, and the second Venezuelan-born Major Leaguer, to 1,400 career RBIs when he singled home Andrew Romine on Thursday afternoon against the Astros at Comerica Park.

Cabrera, who joined the 400-homer club last Saturday and passed Andres Galarraga for the most home runs by a Venezuelan player, joined Galarraga in the 1,400-RBI group. At 32 years and 33 days, he's also the fifth-youngest player to reach the mark.

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Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. Read Beck's Blog, follow him on Twitter @beckjason and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Rondon hits 99 on radar gun in rehab outing

Rondon hits 99 on radar gun in rehab outing

TOLEDO, Ohio -- Tigers reliever Bruce Rondon hit 99 mph on the radar gun at Fifth Third Field on Thursday night in the first outing of his rehab assignment for the Triple-A Toledo Mud Hens. That in itself was a good sign, though the command has a little ways to catch up.

Rondon gave up a run on two hits in two-thirds of an inning in his first game action since suffering biceps tendinitis in the final week of Spring Training. His fastball generally sat at 97-98 mph on the stadium radar gun, including a 98-mph pitch he spotted for a called third strike for his first out before topping out at 99 on his final hitter.

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Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. Read Beck's Blog, follow him on Twitter @beckjason and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Cespedes has a knack for stealing third

Secondary lead, anticipation keys to element of surprise

Cespedes has a knack for stealing third

DETROIT -- Martin Maldonado had a clear view from behind home plate to third base. Yoenis Cespedes didn't care. If he can get the lead he wants off second base, all it means is an obstructed vantage point for the catcher to watch him steal third.

That's all it meant Wednesday night. And when the Brewers catcher sailed his throw into left field, he had a good view of Cespedes heading home, having turned his knack for stealing third into a big run.

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Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. Read Beck's Blog, follow him on Twitter @beckjason and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Win for Warriors 9K to be held Memorial Day

Inaugural race ends inside Comerica Park

DETROIT -- Tigers right-hander Justin Verlander's Wins for Warriors, a foundation to support war veterans and their families, will take center stage at Comerica Park on Memorial Day.

The path for Wins for Warriors' inaugural 9K (about 5.6 miles) run ends inside the ballpark, with a portion near the warning track and the finish line at home plate. Participants have already raised more than $31,000, according to the event website, which will help fund organizations that provide aid to veterans experiencing post-traumatic stress disorder, depression or other ailments.

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Alejandro Zúñiga is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Castellanos' big hit lifts Tigers over Crew

Castellanos' big hit lifts Tigers over Crew

DETROIT -- Nick Castellanos awakened a Tigers offense that had been dormant all series with a bases-clearing triple in the eighth inning, breaking open a pitching duel and helping Detroit avoid a series sweep to the Brewers with a 5-2 win on Wednesday night at Comerica Park.

"It was trending like some of the recent games for about seven innings," Tigers manager Brad Ausmus said. "That's exactly what we were talking about, somebody to step up."

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Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. Read Beck's Blog, follow him on Twitter @beckjason and listen to his podcast. Adam McCalvy is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @AdamMcCalvy, like him on Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

McCann adds to repertoire with nifty grab

McCann adds to repertoire with nifty grab

DETROIT -- Catcher James McCann may have had some Tigers fans double-checking their scorecards during Wednesday's series finale against the Brewers at Comerica Park.

In the fifth inning of Detroit's eventual 5-2 win, McCann leaped into the netting behind home plate to snag a Martin Maldonado foul fly for the third out. It was a play reminiscent of one Alex Avila made last September -- and has done other times throughout his career -- when he used the backstop as cushioning following an acrobatic grab.

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Alejandro Zúñiga is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Castellanos gives Tigers much-needed boost

Castellanos gives Tigers much-needed boost

DETROIT -- The Tigers' triples leaderboard includes speedsters Rajai Davis and Anthony Gose. It now includes Nick Castellanos.

The way Castellanos felt rounding second base Wednesday night on his third triple of the season -- clearing the bases, breaking open a tie game and sparking the Tigers' dormant offense to a 5-2 win over the Brewers -- speed didn't matter. He had the legs.

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Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. Read Beck's Blog, follow him on Twitter @beckjason and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

McCann leaps into netting for catch, is Spider-Man

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McCann leaps into netting for catch, is Spider-Man

ATTENTION SONY PICTURES: We've got your new Spider-Man right here and his name is James McCann. The 24-year-old rookie won the Tigers' backup catching job at Spring Training and has been making the most of his opportunities, hitting .282. 

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Anibal, wife launch charity for well-being of kids

Anibal, wife launch charity for well-being of kids

DETROIT -- As Anibal Sanchez and his wife, Ana, introduced Sanchez's Little Smiles, a new charity program they founded with the Tigers, the right-hander grew emotional while recounting a personal story.

In 2007, Anibal's baby son passed away of dengue fever, a mosquito-transmitted illness, and at Wednesday afternoon's news conference, the pitcher remembered feeling lonely during the ordeal. Sanchez's Little Smiles hopes to provide some relief to others facing similar hardships, hosting families with children suffering from health issues or other challenges for a night at Comerica Park.

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Alejandro Zúñiga is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

V-Mart lands on DL; Tigers recall Collins

No timetable set for All-Star DH's return from left knee inflammation

V-Mart lands on DL; Tigers recall Collins

DETROIT -- The Tigers didn't waste time with their options regarding Victor Martinez. In the end, however, the only option manager Brad Ausmus saw was to put his All-Star designated hitter on the 15-day disabled list with left knee inflammation. The team recalled outfielder Tyler Collins from Triple-A Toledo before Tuesday night's game, an 8-1 victory for the Brewers.

The move comes on the heels of a postgame meeting Monday night between Ausmus, team president/general manager Dave Dombrowski, owner Mike Ilitch and eventually Martinez, who went 0-for-4 with no balls hit out of the infield Monday night after resting his left knee for the better part of four games.

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Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. Read Beck's Blog, follow him on Twitter @beckjason and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Long ball bites Anibal; Nelson stymies Tigers

Long ball bites Anibal; Nelson stymies Tigers

DETROIT -- What began as a pitching duel between Anibal Sanchez and Jimmy Nelson became a Brewers runaway with three consecutive home runs in a nine-pitch span off Sanchez, sending Milwaukee to a second straight win over the Tigers with an 8-1 victory Tuesday night at Comerica Park.

Sanchez retired six of the Brewers' first seven hitters, the lone exception a Gerardo Parra walk, before he began to wobble. Martin Maldonado's third-inning drive died at the warning track in center field, but Carlos Gomez's two-out bunt single and another Parra walk extended the inning for the middle of Milwaukee's order to pounce. Ryan Braun drove a three-run homer off the right-field foul pole, Adam Lind sent a solo homer into the right-field seats, then Aramis Ramirez did the same to left for his second home run in as many nights.

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Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. Read Beck's Blog, follow him on Twitter @beckjason and listen to his podcast. Adam McCalvy is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @AdamMcCalvy, like him on Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Mike Bauman

V-Mart to DL could be a blessing in disguise

Tigers have depth, versatility to adjust while DH recovers from left knee injury

V-Mart to DL could be a blessing in disguise

There are not many teams that can get along without a player who went .335/.409/.565 the previous season, while leading the league in on-base percentage and OPS. The Tigers should be one of the happy exceptions.

That individual performance was the work of Victor Martinez last season, when he finished second in the voting for the American League Most Valuable Player Award. It was one of the finest seasons in an already impressive career.

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Mike Bauman is a national columnist for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.