April surge a sign V-Mart back to pre-injury form

April surge a sign V-Mart back to pre-injury form

CLEVELAND -- The buzz had barely begun to hush from Miguel Cabrera's second home run last Monday night -- his statement that his bat was back -- when Victor Martinez struck with his latest declaration.

Two pitches separated Cabrera's three-run homer into the right-field corner with Martinez's solo shot, an estimated 425-foot drive to some of the toughest seats to find at Comerica Park. It not only cleared the out-of-town scoreboard in right-center, it landed about five rows back.

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Jason Beck has covered the Tigers for MLB.com since 2002. 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.

Zimmermann claims AL pitcher prize for April

Tigers right-hander earns Pitcher of the Month after 5-0 start

Zimmermann claims AL pitcher prize for April

CLEVELAND -- Jordan Zimmermann's April stats were some of the best opening-month numbers for a pitcher in Major League history. For this season, they were good enough to earn him the American League Pitcher of the Month Award.

It's the first monthly honor for Zimmermann, who earned two NL Player of the Week Awards in 2014 during his Washington Nationals tenure. It's the first monthly pitcher award for the Tigers since Justin Verlander won it in September '12.

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Jason Beck has covered the Tigers for MLB.com since 2002. 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.

V-Mart wins AL Player of Week with vintage show

Slugger hits .519 with three homers, five doubles, five multihit games

V-Mart wins AL Player of Week with vintage show

CLEVELAND -- Victor Martinez capped a historic April with a flourish. For that, he earned American League Player of the Week honors.

It's the first Player of the Week nod for Martinez since May 15, 2011, his first season in Detroit, and his fifth such award overall.

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Jason Beck has covered the Tigers for MLB.com since 2002. 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.

Verlander, Upton reveal engagement at Met Gala

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Verlander, Upton reveal engagement at Met Gala

Monday night marked one of the biggest dates on the New York social calendar: the Met Ball, the annual fundraising gala for the Metropolitan Museum of Art's Costume Division. Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour has run the event since 1995, and everybody who's anybody gets an invite -- a ticket will cost you $25,000. Among this year's guests: Kate Upton, model, actress and longtime girlfriend/culinary spirit guide to Justin Verlander.

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Tigers' Honorary Bat Girl fighting breast cancer

DETROIT -- Penny Russell, a New Boston, Mich., native who is in the middle of her battle with breast cancer after being diagnosed last fall, will receive a boost of support from the Tigers. She'll be honored on Mother's Day as the local winner of Major League Baseball's Honorary Bat Girl Contest.

The Tigers host the Rangers on Mother's Day in a 1:10 p.m. ET contest at Comerica Park. It will be the Tigers' fifth annual Pink Out the Park event, encouraging fans to wear pink to the game. The first 10,000 moms in attendance will receive a pink visor.

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Jason Beck has covered the Tigers for MLB.com since 2002. 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 head to Cleveland looking for payback

Tigers head to Cleveland looking for payback

The Indians will host the Tigers for a series starting Tuesday, and the Tribe will try to accomplish the same feat it did recently in Detroit: deliver a three-game sweep.

Cleveland won all three games from April 22-24 at Comerica Park, outscoring the Tigers, 18-5, in the process. Recovering to win two straight series against Oakland and Minnesota, Detroit will be looking for a bit of payback.

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Brian Hall is a contributor to MLB.com based in Minneapolis. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Tigers rally to complete sweep of Twins

Tigers rally to complete sweep of Twins

MINNEAPOLIS -- The Tigers rallied late, keyed by a three-run homer from Nick Castellanos in the sixth inning and a go-ahead RBI double from Jarrod Saltalamacchia in the eighth, to finish off a sweep of the Twins with a 6-5 win on Sunday at Target Field.

Saltalamacchia's game-winning double came off reliever Ryan Pressly with two outs, scoring Justin Upton from first. Twins shortstop Eduardo Escobar couldn't get the ball out of his glove on the relay from left fielder Eddie Rosario.

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Rhett Bollinger has covered the Twins for MLB.com since 2011. Read his blog, Bollinger Beat, follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger and listen to his podcast.

Brian Hall is a contributor to MLB.com and covered the Tigers on Sunday.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Nick the stick: Castellanos maturing as hitter

Tigers third baseman hits game-tying home run in win vs. Twins

Nick the stick: Castellanos maturing as hitter

MINNEAPOLIS -- Through his first two full seasons in the Major Leagues, Nick Castellanos didn't always show the advanced hitting approach that helped him fly through the Minors and reach the Tigers at 21 years old in 2013.

Settling in during his third season in Detroit, Castellanos is becoming the hitter the Tigers expected.

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Brian Hall is a contributor to MLB.com based in Minneapolis. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Tigers considering Fulmer for Thursday's start

Would be second outing for top prospect, who won his big league debut

Tigers considering Fulmer for Thursday's start

MINNEAPOLIS -- The Tigers don't know who will start the finale of their road trip on Thursday in Cleveland, but the team is keeping rookie Michael Fulmer on schedule to make the start if needed.

Fulmer, the No. 1 prospect in the organization and the No. 50 prospect in the game, according to MLBPipeline.com, made his Major League debut on Friday at Target Field. The hard-throwing right-hander earned the victory with a five-inning performance in which he allowed two runs on seven hits with four strikeouts.

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Brian Hall is a contributor to MLB.com based in Minneapolis. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Pelfrey misreads out call, tries to fist bump umpire

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Pelfrey misreads out call, tries to fist bump umpire

We get it, Mike Pelfrey. You've just made a great pitch, got a ground ball to first base and got yourself out of a major jam Sunday against the Twins. You're running past first base, adrenaline flowing, ready to head off the field -- when suddenly, you see a fist outstretched fist pointed in your direction. Naturally, you did what any of us would do after a big moment: You reached out for a fist bump.

... except, sadly, umpires aren't really at liberty to give those out.

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J-Up's homer keeps Zimmermann undefeated

J-Up's homer keeps Zimmermann undefeated

MINNEAPOLIS -- Jordan Zimmermann continued his dominant start to the season with another sterling performance, and he was backed by a three-run homer from Justin Upton to lift the Tigers to a 4-1 win over the Twins on Saturday afternoon at Target Field.

Zimmermann went seven strong innings, allowing one run on six hits with seven strikeouts. The right-hander improved to 5-0 with a 0.55 ERA this season. He's the third pitcher in the Majors to reach five victories. The lone run he gave up came on a solo blast by Byung Ho Park in the fourth.

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Rhett Bollinger has covered the Twins for MLB.com since 2011. Read his blog, Bollinger Beat, follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger and listen to his podcast.

Brian Hall is a contributor for MLB.com based in Minneapolis.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Move to fifth in order paying off for Upton

Move to fifth in order paying off for Upton

MINNEAPOLIS -- When Tigers outfielder Justin Upton connected on a Tyler Duffey pitch in the first inning, there was no doubt he was clearing the fence for a home run. Manager Brad Ausmus said the only question was whether it would land in the second deck.

Upton's three-run homer provided an early lead in Detroit's 4-1 win over the Twins on Saturday. The 429-foot shot, according to Statcast™, left little doubt to anyone. Upton didn't realize quite how prodigious his second dinger with the Tigers was until he went out to left field to play defense in the bottom of the inning.

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Brian Hall is a contributor for MLB.com and covered the Tigers on Saturday. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

McCann likely to rejoin team in Cleveland

Rehabbing in Triple-A, Maybin's return date still uncertain

McCann likely to rejoin team in Cleveland

MINNEAPOLIS -- The Tigers could be close to getting their Opening Day catcher back.

James McCann is scheduled to play two more games at Triple-A Toledo this weekend, and he will likely join the team for the upcoming trip to Cleveland, manager Brad Ausmus said on Saturday.

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Brian Hall is a contributor for MLB.com and covered the Tigers on Saturday. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Tigers' bats back Fulmer, who wins solid debut

Tigers' bats back Fulmer, who wins solid debut

MINNEAPOLIS -- No. 1 Tigers prospect Michael Fulmer tossed five solid innings to pick up the win in his Major League debut, and was backed by homers from Miguel Cabrera, Victor Martinez and Nick Castellanos in a 9-2 victory over the Twins on Friday night at Target Field.

Fulmer, ranked as the No. 50 overall prospect by MLBPipeline.com, gave up two runs on seven hits and a walk with four strikeouts. He became the first Tigers pitcher to win his debut since lefty Kyle Ryan on Aug. 30, 2014.

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Rhett Bollinger has covered the Twins for MLB.com since 2011. Read his blog, Bollinger Beat, follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger and listen to his podcast.

Brian Hall is a contributor to MLB.com based in Minneapolis and covered the Tigers on Friday.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Top prospect Fulmer crafts strong first impression

Given early cushion, Tigers righty allows two runs over five

Top prospect Fulmer crafts strong first impression

MINNEAPOLIS -- Throwing a 97-mph fastball for his first pitch, Tigers right-hander Michael Fulmer would have been understandably filled with adrenaline in his Major League debut.

Hitting 97 on the radar gun isn't unusual for the 23-year-old, though. In fact, Fulmer was quite composed, a trait seen from his catcher Bobby Wilson and manager Brad Ausmus well before Friday's 9-2 win over the Twins.

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Brian Hall is a contributor to MLB.com based in Minneapolis and covered the Tigers on Friday. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Verlander wants stronger penalties for PEDs

Tigers righty says players should be immediately suspended and not be allowed to play while appealing

Verlander wants stronger penalties for PEDs

MINNEAPOLIS -- Tigers right-hander Justin Verlander has been one of Major League Baseball's most outspoken players regarding positive tests for performance-enhancing drugs resulting in immediate suspensions and not allowing players to play while an appeal runs its course.

With news of Marlins second baseman Dee Gordon being suspended 80 games, Verlander echoed his stance that any positive test should result in players being taken off the field.

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Brian Hall is a contributor to MLB.com based in Minneapolis and covered the Tigers on Friday. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Five Tigers knock in runs to thump A's

Five Tigers knock in runs to thump A's

DETROIT -- Anthony Gose hit a two-run homer and scored on an Ian Kinsler double as part of an early-inning Tigers outburst, supporting Anibal Sanchez through a wild outing for a 7-3 win and a series victory over the A's Thursday at Comerica Park.

Detroit's tinkered lineup, with J.D. Martinez batting second in front of Miguel Cabrera, wore down an Oakland starter with a 40-pitch inning for a second straight game, this one a four-run third off Toledo native Chris Bassitt. Kinsler and Nick Castellanos doubled in a run each, including Gose, who hit a no-doubt drive to right field an inning later for his second homer of the season.

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Jason Beck has covered the Tigers for MLB.com since 2002. Read Beck's Blog, follow him on Twitter @beckjason and listen to his podcast

Chris Vannini is a contributor to MLB.com and covered the A's on Thursday.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Sanchez tinkers, takes step in right direction

Right-hander fans nine, but walks seven over 5 2/3 IP vs. A's

Sanchez tinkers, takes step in right direction

DETROIT -- Maybe the hip turn in Anibal Sanchez's delivery serves a purpose after all. What exactly that is might never get explained.

The Tigers tried since Spring Training to get rid of it, calling it an unnecessary motion. Sanchez worked to remove it from his delivery for two months, from an injury-shortened Spring Training through four turbulent starts. In the end, he never grew comfortable without it.

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Jason Beck has covered the Tigers for MLB.com since 2002. 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.

MLB.com Columnist

Jonathan Mayo

Relaxing on hill key to Fulmer's success

Tigers' top prospect scheduled for spot start on Friday

Relaxing on hill key to Fulmer's success

It might be just a spot start this time, but Tigers fans will get a glimpse of their top prospect Michael Fulmer on the mound on Friday. The right-hander, ranked No. 50 on MLBPipeline.com's Top 100 Prospects list, will be making his Major League debut filling in for Shane Greene, who is out temporarily with a broken blister.

Perhaps it's a one-start audition for the right-hander that the Tigers obtained from the Mets in July's Yoenis Cespedes deal, but it's not like anyone in the rotation not named Zimmermann is setting the world on fire so far. A good impression on Friday could lead to a more extended stay later in the season.

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Jonathan Mayo is a reporter for MLBPipeline.com. Follow him on Twitter @JonathanMayo and Facebook, and listen to him on the weekly Pipeline Podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Tigers make slight tweak to infield shifts

Ausmus moves Iglesias based on matchups during A's series

Tigers make slight tweak to infield shifts

DETROIT -- The sight of Nick Castellanos running over from third base into short right field has become a trademark sight of the Tigers' defensive infield shifts under manager Brad Ausmus. Every once in a while, though, the Tigers shift more traditionally, with Castellanos moving over a few steps toward shortstop and Jose Iglesias joining Ian Kinsler on the right side of the infield.

It became more apparent against the A's, notably right fielder Josh Reddick. It's not a retreat from the shift they've normally been doing. It's a reaction to the hitter they're shifting against.

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Jason Beck has covered the Tigers for MLB.com since 2002. 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.

Bumped up to No. 2, J.D. snaps out of slide

Tigers slugger answers Ausmus' tweak with second-inning homer off Gray

Bumped up to No. 2, J.D. snaps out of slide

DETROIT -- J.D. Martinez understands why baseball is considered a fun game, why players can remain enthusiastic even when times get tough. But the Tigers slugger also might have given the best explanation of why the opposite is true when hitters are struggling, as he had been before hitting a three-run homer off A's ace Sonny Gray in the second inning of Wednesday night's 9-4 win.

"You can say baseball's fun, you're in the big leagues, you get to come to a Major League field every day -- and, yeah, that's great," said Martinez, who followed Wednesday's homer with a fourth-inning sacrifice fly to the warning track. "I love it. Obviously, this is a job, it's a grind, but it's what you love to do. It's your passion. I get to play what I dreamed about since I was a kid. So, on that end, I love it. But I also take pride in it.

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Jason Beck has covered the Tigers for MLB.com since 2002. 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.

Martinezes plate 7 as Verlander handles A's

Martinezes plate 7 as Verlander handles A's

DETROIT -- Hours after Tigers manager Brad Ausmus shook up his batting order, his offense broke out of its mid-April funk to tie its season high in runs, turning what could have been a Justin Verlander-Sonny Gray pitchers' duel decidedly in Detroit's favor en route to a 9-4 Tigers win on Wednesday night at Comerica Park.

J.D. Martinez and Victor Martinez each hit a three-run homer to power a Detroit offense that had been held to three runs or fewer in six of its previous seven games. Nearly half of the damage, including J.D. Martinez's homer, came off Gray (3-2), whose 40-pitch second inning led to his early exit after two innings and 65 pitches.

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Chris Vannini is a contributor to MLB.com and covered the Tigers on Wednesday.

Jason Beck has covered the Tigers for MLB.com since 2002. 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.

Entering May, Verlander where he needs to be

Tigers righty has little trouble against A's, earning second victory

Entering May, Verlander where he needs to be

DETROIT -- In the end, the April showers for Justin Verlander weren't all that gloomy. Considering the way he started the season, they could've been a lot worse.

With 6 1/3 quality innings on Wednesday night in a 9-4 Tigers win over the A's, Verlander not only outpitched Sonny Gray, who was out after two rough innings, but also outpitched his early-season blues.

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Jason Beck has covered the Tigers for MLB.com since 2002. 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.

K-Rod back with Tigers; Collins optioned

K-Rod back with Tigers; Collins optioned

DETROIT -- Tigers closer Francisco Rodriguez returned from the family emergency list in time for Wednesday's 9-4 win over the A's after three days away from the team. The move not only restored Detroit's bullpen to full strength, it secured a level of depth greater than usual for the 'pen.

To make room for Rodriguez on the 25-man roster, the Tigers optioned Tyler Collins to Triple-A Toledo. Thus, Detroit will go forward with an eight-man bullpen and a three-man bench for the foreseeable future.

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Jason Beck has covered the Tigers for MLB.com since 2002. 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.

J-Ups: Tigers left fielder bobbles ball, robs HR

Tigers left fielder denies A's Coghlan of solo shot in third inning

J-Ups: Tigers left fielder bobbles ball, robs HR

DETROIT -- While Justin Upton tries to spark his home run power at the plate, the Tigers left fielder made a juggling catch at the fence to take away a home run from Oakland's Chris Coghlan Tuesday night during Detroit's 5-1 loss at Comerica Park.

It was a highlight play in two parts. The first act from Upton was to reach over the left-field fence to keep Coghlan's opposite-field loft in the park with the game tied at 0. The second part was to recover once the ball hopped off the heel of his glove and collect the ball before it could hit the ground.

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Jason Beck has covered the Tigers for MLB.com since 2002. 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 avoid shutout, but Pelfrey takes loss

Tigers avoid shutout, but Pelfrey takes loss

DETROIT -- One night after the Tigers' offense broke out of an early-season slumber against the A's, Rich Hill put it back to sleep. The former University of Michigan standout tossed seven scoreless innings, taking advantage of a three-run fourth and a Marcus Semien two-run homer for a 5-1 Oakland win Tuesday night at Comerica Park.

The Tigers came within an out of being shut out for the third time this season, all of them games Mike Pelfrey (0-4) has started, before Victor Martinez doubled in a run in the ninth. Pelfrey held down Oakland's offense the first time through the order before four hits and a sacrifice fly doomed him in a five-batter span of the fourth inning. Semien essentially put the game away with his fifth home run of the year, a drive into the left-field seats beyond the A's bullpen.

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Jason Beck has covered the Tigers for MLB.com since 2002. Read Beck's Blog, follow him on Twitter @beckjason and listen to his podcast.

Chris Vannini is a contributor to MLB.com and covered the A's on Tuesday.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Left-handers causing Tigers trouble this year

Detroit led Majors in batting average vs. southpaws last season

Left-handers causing Tigers trouble this year

DETROIT -- The list of active Major League pitchers Brad Ausmus has faced as a hitter is dwindling. Rich Hill is on the list, having first faced Ausmus in an 18-inning marathon between the Cubs and Astros in Houston on Aug. 15, 2006.

Hill was the 25th and final Cubs player used. He pitched the final two innings, earning the win. His only hit allowed was a line drive back up the middle from Ausmus.

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Jason Beck has covered the Tigers for MLB.com since 2002. 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.