Avila returns to Tigers from disabled list

Avila returns to Tigers from disabled list

DETROIT -- The Tigers regained the last of their injured position players Friday. With catcher Alex Avila now back from the 15-day disabled list, Detroit has its full roster to evaluate this month before deciding what to do at the July non-waiver Trade Deadline.

Avila, whose left knee soreness was once expected to require surgery and keep him out until the All-Star break, beat the timetable by just over a week, and more importantly avoided the procedure. The injury, originally diagnosed as a loose bodies in his left knee, cost him about two months of action before Detroit activated him from the DL on Friday.

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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 DFA Joba, Gorzelanny in 'pen makeover

Detroit calls up Ferrell, VerHagen to fill newly opened relief spots

Tigers DFA Joba, Gorzelanny in 'pen makeover

DETROIT -- The Tigers had a bullpen shakeup on Friday, designating veteran setup men Joba Chamberlain and Tom Gorzelanny while promoting converted starters Jeff Ferrell and Drew VerHagen.

The Tigers' bullpen has struggled after a strong start. After a three-game sweep to the Pirates that included 11 runs on 24 hits over 16 1/3 innings against Detroit relievers, the team made the shuffle, going with younger arms into the midseason stretch.

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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.

All-Star starters unveiled Sunday, full rosters Monday

Watch selection shows on ESPN; Final Vote to get underway Monday

All-Star starters unveiled Sunday, full rosters Monday

It was historic because it happened exclusively online. It was personal because it decided the fate of your favorite players. It was intense because you argued a lot. And it was teamwork because you helped shatter a Major League Baseball record.

After 65 consecutive days of relentless fan voting to determine starting positions players for the 86th All-Star Game on July 14 at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati, the largest All-Star balloting program in sports closed at 11:59 p.m. ET Thursday.

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Mark Newman is enterprise editor of MLB.com. Read and join other baseball fans on his MLB.com community blog. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Tigers know spark can restore winning ways

Club remains optimistic as second half awaits despite dip to .500 mark

Tigers know spark can restore winning ways

DETROIT -- At the time, Tigers manager Brad Ausmus hoped Sunday's walk-off win over the White Sox was a turning point toward more positive results.

Following Thursday's 8-4 loss to the Pirates, which completed a three-game sweep at Comerica Park, Ausmus admitted Detroit is still searching for that inspiration.

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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.

Tigers' late glimmer vs. Bucs a fleeting one

Tigers' late glimmer vs. Bucs a fleeting one

DETROIT -- Francisco Liriano tossed seven scoreless innings, and a four-run ninth weathered a late comeback attempt as the Pirates completed a three-game sweep of the Tigers with an 8-4 win on Thursday afternoon at Comerica Park.

Rajai Davis lined Liriano's first pitch into center field for a single, but the southpaw allowed just four hits the rest of the way. In the fourth inning, Detroit second baseman Ian Kinsler and first baseman Miguel Cabrera reached with one out, but Liriano worked out of his biggest jam of the day by inducing groundouts from Victor Martinez and Yoenis Cespedes.

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Tom Singer is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog Change for a Nickel. He can also be found on Twitter @Tom_Singer and on his podcast. 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.

Blue Jays meet winter trade partner in Detroit

Blue Jays meet winter trade partner in Detroit

The Tigers and Blue Jays will meet on Friday night for the first time since the offseason trade that saw Anthony Gose and Devon Travis switch sides.

The deal has worked out pretty well for both teams, with Gose receiving regular at-bats in center field for Detroit and Travis taking over the starting job at second base for Toronto. Both players did cool off after red-hot starts to the year, but both have the potential to become long-term fits.

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Gregor Chisholm is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, North of the Border, follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB and Facebook, and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Tigers draft picks have big night for Connecticut

Stewart homers, Gibson rips a grand slam and Alexander throws four frames of one-hit ball in his pro debut

Tigers draft picks have big night for Connecticut

It takes years to decide whether a draft class panned out or not, but Tigers general manager David Dombrowski has to be feeling good about his 2015 haul after watching the Connecticut Tigers Thursday.

Three top picks helped Rookie League Connecticut cruise to an 11-2 blowout win over Lowell. The group included first-round pick Christin Stewart, who went 2-for-4 with a home run and two RBIs, second-round pick Tyler Alexander, who allowed one hit, one walk and notched four strikeouts in four innings, and fifth-rounder Cam Gibson, who ripped a grand slam in a 1-for-5 night.

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Alex M. Smith is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Improving Avila on verge of rejoining Tigers

Improving Avila on verge of rejoining Tigers

DETROIT -- Catcher Alex Avila will serve as the designated hitter on Thursday night for Triple-A Toledo, likely setting up a return to the Tigers for this weekend's series against the Blue Jays at Comerica Park.

But on Thursday afternoon, Tigers manager Brad Ausmus remained mum about the organization's plans for the veteran catcher, who has been on the disabled list since May 8 with loose bodies in his left knee.

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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.

J.D.'s quietly strong year not lost on Ausmus

Tigers' manager impressed by outfielder's strides in field as well as at plate

J.D.'s quietly strong year not lost on Ausmus

DETROIT -- While answering a question on Wednesday about Yoenis Cespedes' All-Star candidacy, Tigers manager Brad Ausmus paused to support another one of his players.

"Really, we probably have a right fielder that's an All-Star, as well," Ausmus said.

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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.

Fan favorite Gibson rejoins Tigers booth

Two-time World Series champ calls full game following Parkinson's diagnosis

Fan favorite Gibson rejoins Tigers booth

DETROIT -- On Thursday morning, before the Tigers' series-closing 8-4 loss to the Pirates, Kirk Gibson had a friendly disagreement with Brad Ausmus during the manager's media availability.

"He's got tremendous power," Ausmus said of right fielder J.D. Martinez. "Kirk Gibson power."

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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.

Tigers lament pitching woes against Pirates

Tigers lament pitching woes against Pirates

DETROIT -- Earlier this season, Tigers manager Brad Ausmus called Alfredo Simon the most consistent pitcher in his rotation.

Not anymore.

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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.

Tigers can't rally in loss to Pirates

Tigers can't rally in loss to Pirates

DETROIT -- Second baseman Neil Walker's two-homer night propelled the Pirates to a season-high 21 hits as they topped the Tigers, 9-3, on Wednesday night at Comerica Park.

Pittsburgh took command with a five-run third against Detroit starter Alfredo Simon. The inning was highlighted by Walker's first home run of the night, which followed a leadoff double from third baseman Josh Harrison. Walker, left fielder Starling Marte and designated hitter Pedro Alvarez all homered in the eighth inning off reliever Joba Chamberlain to all but seal the win.

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Tom Singer is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog Change for a Nickel. He can also be found on Twitter @Tom_Singer and on his podcast. Alejandro Zúñiga is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Wilson becoming an important piece for Tigers bullpen

Wilson becoming an important piece for Tigers bullpen

DETROIT -- You couldn't blame Tigers right fielder J.D. Martinez for misspeaking early Wednesday morning when answering a question about right-hander Alex Wilson, who had just tossed 3 1/3 shutout innings of relief in extras.

"I think he pitched 57 innings -- 57 pitches, I'm sorry," Martinez said.

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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.

Ausmus not concerned about hit-by-pitches

Ausmus not concerned about hit-by-pitches

DETROIT -- Tigers manager Brad Ausmus agrees with Victor Martinez -- both believe Pirates right-hander Gerrit Cole plunked Detroit's designated hitter intentionally on Tuesday night.

But, in Ausmus' opinion, that's yesterday's news, and he doesn't plan on giving it much thought during the remainder of the series.

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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.

Verlander settles in, nets quality start in return

Rough start to night turns around as Tigers righty pitches into seventh inning

Verlander settles in, nets quality start in return

DETROIT -- Despite his early struggles, Tigers right-hander Justin Verlander cobbled together a quality outing Tuesday night after missing a start due to back stiffness.

Verlander labored through a 27-pitch first inning against the Pirates, then allowed a run in the second and two in the third. But, despite tossing just one clean frame, he lasted into the seventh during Detroit's 5-4, 14-inning loss at Comerica Park.

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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.

Tigers can't rally twice in 14-inning loss

Tigers can't rally twice in 14-inning loss

DETROIT -- Neil Walker's double down the right-field line scored the go-ahead run in the 14th inning as the Pirates outlasted the Tigers, 5-4, on Tuesday night at Comerica Park.

Until the eighth inning, it seemed as if the Buccos would claim the series opener easily, but a pair of Martinezes quickly erased a two-run deficit. Two batters after Detroit designated hitter Victor Martinez reached on a leadoff single to left field, J.D. Martinez launched the second pitch he saw from Tony Watson over the left-field wall. But neither team broke the tie until the 14th, when Josh Harrison doubled off lefty reliever Tom Gorzelanny and Walker drove him in a batter later.

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Alejandro Zúñiga is an associate reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @ByAZuniga. Tom Singer is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog Change for a Nickel. He can also be found on Twitter @Tom_Singer and on his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

V-Mart unhappy with hit-by-pitch

Tigers designated hitter one of four players plunked in Tuesday's contest

V-Mart unhappy with hit-by-pitch

DETROIT -- Victor Martinez isn't happy with right-hander Gerrit Cole and the Pirates.

During the fourth inning of Tuesday's 5-4 loss to Pittsburgh at Comerica Park, Detroit starter Justin Verlander plunked Starling Marte on a 1-2 pitch with two outs and a runner on first. Then, in the bottom half of the frame, Cole hit Martinez with a 95-mph fastball, and the Tigers' designated hitter appeared to take offense, staring at the pitcher as he walked slowly to first.

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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.

Iglesias contributes heavily from No. 9 spot

One of Tigers' leaders in batting average, OBP remains at bottom of order

Iglesias contributes heavily from No. 9 spot

DETROIT -- Tigers shortstop Jose Iglesias was batting .330 entering Tuesday, the second-highest average on the team. He boasted a .384 on-base percentage and just 21 strikeouts this season. Yet, in almost every game, he has hit ninth in the order.

Why?

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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.

Harbaugh throws ceremonial first pitch

University of Michigan coach, lifelong baseball fan wears Fidrych jersey

Harbaugh throws ceremonial first pitch

DETROIT -- During Jim Harbaugh's Aerial Assault quarterback camp earlier this month in Ann Arbor, Mich., the University of Michigan football coach showed off his baseball skills, picking throws off the turf as if he were a first baseman.

On Tuesday at Comerica Park, he showcased his arm. Wearing a Mark Fidrych jersey, Harbaugh tossed the ceremonial first pitch to manager Brad Ausmus before the Tigers' series opener against Pittsburgh. The throw had good velocity, but even armchair umpires would've agreed it came in a tad high.

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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.

Tigers add infield depth with Casilla swap

Tigers add infield depth with Casilla swap

The Tigers and Rays worked out a Minor League trade that sent veteran infielder Alexi Casilla to Detroit for a player to be named later.

In his debut with the organization on Monday, Casilla went 1-for-3 for Triple-A Toledo vs. his former Durham Bulls teammates.

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Joey Nowak is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @joeynowak. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Moya launches two homers for Mud Hens

Tigers No. 1 prospect has his first multi-homer game of the season, No. 3 prospect throws 7 strong frames

Moya launches two homers for Mud Hens

Last July, Steven Moya had the best month of his professional career. If Monday night was any indication, the Tigers' No. 1 prospect is gearing up for a repeat performance.

Moya, 24, swatted two solo home runs for Triple-A Toledo in a 4-1 win over Durham, giving him eight homers on the year. His big game came on the heels of a mini-drought (0-for-8) that was quickly remedied in the fourth inning. Moya, whose last multi-homer game was on July 4, 2014, appears to be heating up as the Mud Hens close in on the end of June.

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Alex M. Smith is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

McCann's walk-off HR caps late Tigers rally

McCann's walk-off HR caps late Tigers rally

DETROIT -- Victor Martinez's game-tying, bases-clearing double in the eighth set up catcher James McCann's walk-off home run an inning later as the Tigers beat the White Sox, 5-4, on Sunday afternoon at Comerica Park.

The Tigers managed very little against Chicago starter Jeff Samardzija until the eighth, when Martinez's line drive into the right-center-field gap scored three runs and tied the game at 4. McCann lined an 0-2 splitter from reliever Zach Putnam over the left-field fence to seal the win, which was Detroit's first this year in 31 attempts when trailing after seven innings. It marked McCann's second career walk-off home run.

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Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Merk's Works, follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin and listen to his podcast. 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.

V-Mart puts clutch gene on display with big hit

V-Mart puts clutch gene on display with big hit

DETROIT -- Last season, Tigers manager Brad Ausmus claimed the only person in baseball who could protect Miguel Cabrera in the lineup was Cabrera himself. But he later amended his statement: Victor Martinez could also provide the support.

It seems as if that Victor Martinez is back. The designated hitter's three-run bases-clearing double in the eighth inning tied Sunday's game against the White Sox, setting up catcher James McCann's walk-off home run an inning later that secured a 5-4 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.

Verlander set for return after bullpen session

Verlander set for return after bullpen session

DETROIT -- Right-hander Justin Verlander will start Tuesday's game for the Tigers against the Pirates, manager Brad Ausmus confirmed after Sunday's 5-4 win over the White Sox.

Verlander, who missed his last scheduled start with a stiff back, threw a bullpen session on Saturday afternoon, and it went well, but Ausmus waited until Sunday to announce his rotation for the Pittsburgh series in case the righty endured any further complications.

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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 making most out of round-trippers

McCann making most out of round-trippers

DETROIT -- The Orioles have pie. The Nationals have chocolate syrup. And the Tigers have scoops of dirt.

After James McCann's walk-off home run capped a 5-4 win over the White Sox at Comerica Park on Sunday, he received the customary mobbing at home plate. Meanwhile, though, several of the catcher's teammates picked up dirt from the batter's box and dumped it on 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.

Couple brings leukemia initiative to Detroit

DETROIT -- In Nestor Aparicio's own words, this isn't a baseball story. Well, not really.

Nestor and his wife, Jennifer, made the 16th stop of their 30-day, 30-ballpark tour to raise awareness for the international bone marrow registry on Sunday afternoon at Comerica Park.

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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.

Rain washes out Tigers' game vs. White Sox

Contest to be rescheduled as part of day-night doubleheader Sept. 21

DETROIT -- Saturday afternoon's White Sox-Tigers game at Comerica Park was postponed due to inclement weather.

The game will be rescheduled as part of a split doubleheader on Monday, Sept. 21. The first game will start at 1:08 p.m. ET, while the second game will start at 7:08 p.m.

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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.

Location culprit in bevy of dingers off Anibal

Tigers starter has allowed 18 home runs this season after allowing four overall in 2014

Location culprit in bevy of dingers off Anibal

DETROIT -- Tigers starter Anibal Sanchez continues to be plagued by home runs, and manager Brad Ausmus is blaming poor pitch location -- and a little bit of bad luck.

After allowing three blasts to White Sox hitters on Friday night, the right-hander has yielded 18 home runs this year, more than any other American League pitcher. Fortunately for Sanchez, Chicago's were all solo shots, leaving Detroit in position to claim a 5-4 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.