Tigers out of AL Central race, fall back in WC

Tigers out of AL Central race, fall back in WC

DETROIT -- The Indians clinched their first American League Central title since 2007 at the ballpark that housed four of the previous five division crowns. In the process, their 7-4 win over the Tigers made Detroit's postseason pursuit much tougher.

Though Corey Kluber lasted just four innings before leaving with right groin tightness, adding to Cleveland's rotation injuries, Coco Crisp's two-run home run in the second inning and Roberto Perez's solo shot in the seventh helped power the Indians to their 14th win in 16 games against the Tigers this season, eliminating Detroit from the division race. Cleveland clinched its eighth title since divisional play began in 1969, and its second playoff berth in four years under manager Terry Francona.

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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.

Jordan Bastian has covered the Indians for MLB.com since 2011, and previously covered the Blue Jays from 2006-10. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, follow him on Twitter @MLBastian and listen to his podcast.

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

Troubles vs. Tribe cost Tigers big this year

Detroit comes up short in race for AL Central title

Troubles vs. Tribe cost Tigers big this year

DETROIT -- While the Indians stormed the field at Comerica Park after the final out of Monday's 7-4 win, most of the Tigers filed down the dugout steps and into the clubhouse. They had little interest in watching Cleveland celebrate a division title on their turf in front of a horde of fans who drove up from Ohio to watch it.

J.D. Martinez lingered around a little bit and forced himself to take a look before heading back in.

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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.

Martinez still hesitant going toward wall

Martinez still hesitant going toward wall

DETROIT -- The eighth-inning ball down the right-field line that Tigers outfielder J.D. Martinez dropped for an error had minor impact besides an add-on run in Cleveland's 7-4 win Monday night. But it reflected a lingering concern for Martinez, who fractured his elbow running into the right-field wall on a similar play in June.

Martinez lost a month and a half to the injury. He came back around the beginning of August and has hit like the injury is in his past, but he still might not be over it mentally. As he chased Carlos Santana's fly ball, he admits he thought back to his pursuit of Paulo Orlando's ball at Kansas City.

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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.

Santana, Upton share AL Player of the Week

Santana, Upton share AL Player of the Week

Cleveland Indians designated hitter Carlos Santana and Detroit Tigers outfielder Justin Upton have earned American League co-Player of the Week honors.

It is the first time each player has won the award this season.

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

Castellanos gets 3 instructional league ABs

Castellanos gets 3 instructional league ABs

DETROIT -- Nick Castellanos went 1-for-3 in a rain-shortened instructional league game in Florida on Monday, Tigers manager Brad Ausmus said. Castellanos has been on the disabled list since breaking a bone in his left hand on Aug. 6 during a game against the Mets.

Castellanos will participate in a six-inning intrasquad game on Tuesday. He will likely lead off each inning to get extra at-bats and play all six innings in the field, Ausmus said.

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Kyle Beery is a reporter for MLB.com based in Detroit. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

In need of big start, Tigers turn to Verlander

In need of big start, Tigers turn to Verlander

After clinching their first American League Central crown since 2007, the Indians know there is still work to be done, but manager Terry Francona was willing to allow his team to celebrate Monday.

"There's a lot that goes into trying to even just win a division, and certainly the season's not over, but they deserve every minute of joy they have in there," Francona said.

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Kyle Beery is a reporter for MLB.com based in Detroit. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Romine explains bases-loaded bunt attempt

Romine explains bases-loaded bunt attempt

DETROIT -- Andrew Romine affirmed that his bases-loaded bunt in the third inning during Sunday's Tigers loss to the Royals was his call. He also believes it was the right call, based on where the defense was playing. 

Good call, bad execution. 

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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.

Beisbol en Espanol: Victor Martinez

Beisbol en Espanol: Victor Martinez

As part of the Detroit Tigers Hispanic Heritage Month celebration, the club will be featuring some pieces of content from Tigers Magazine. The following Q&A appeared in the third edition of Tigers Magazine.

1) You were born and raised in Ciudad Bolivar, Venezuela. How is it there?

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Tigers battle back, but drop 1 1/2 out of WC

Tigers battle back, but drop 1 1/2 out of WC

DETROIT -- A day after the Royals slowed the Tigers' playoff pursuit with a five-run rally in the ninth, they did their damage at the start, putting up a four-run opening inning Sunday and adding on from there before withstanding a furious Tigers comeback attempt for a 12-9 win at Comerica Park.

The Tigers' second straight loss dropped them 1 1/2 games behind the Orioles for the second American League Wild Card spot. It also dropped the Indians' magic number to one for clinching the AL Central as Cleveland comes to Detroit for a four-game series starting Monday.

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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.

Jeffrey Flanagan has covered the Royals since 1991, and for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter @FlannyMLB.

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

Zimmermann hoping to start next weekend

Tigers righty pitches three innings of relief in place of simulated game

Zimmermann hoping to start next weekend

DETROIT -- Jordan Zimmermann was scheduled to throw a simulated game Monday in one last attempt to work his way back into the Tigers' rotation. Instead, he found his way into a real game Sunday, and his three innings of relief could earn him a start in a must-win game in the season's final weekend. 

It was an odd turn of events in an odd game, a 12-9 Tigers loss that saw Detroit use four members of its April rotation in relief of Matt Boyd, who didn't join the rotation for good until July. But with the Tigers desperately seeking outs, it was the kind of low-leverage situation worth throwing Zimmerman into. 

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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 embrace challenge final week brings

Detroit 1 1/2 games out of Wild Card, opens set vs. Cleveland on Monday

Tigers embrace challenge final week brings

DETROIT -- If the Tigers' topsy-turvy September has proven anything, it's the difference that just a few days can make on the outlook of the playoff race. As they enter the final week of the regular season, they have to hope the roller coaster continues.

They took the field at Comerica Park for the ninth inning Saturday afternoon with a seemingly firm grasp on the second American League Wild Card spot. As they left that same field about 25 hours later, their comeback attempt having fallen just short in a 12-9 loss to the Royals, they had dropped 1 1/2 games down in the AL Wild Card race.

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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.

Iglesias, Tigers mourn Fernandez's passing

Marlins star pitcher, 24, dies in boating accident

Iglesias, Tigers mourn Fernandez's passing

DETROIT -- A somber mood draped over the Tigers' clubhouse Sunday with the baseball world in mourning following the tragic passing of Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez.

"He's a guy that left everything behind him to make a dream come true, and for it to end so quickly like this, it's very sad," fellow Cuban and friend Jose Iglesias said before a 12-9 Tigers loss to the Royals. "That's a guy with a bright future."

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Kyle Beery is a reporter for MLB.com based in Detroit. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

V-Mart's slam jump-starts Tigers' rally

Detroit shows plenty of moxie as it chases Wild Card

V-Mart's slam jump-starts Tigers' rally

DETROIT -- Victor Martinez hit his fifth career grand slam Sunday afternoon at Comerica Park to spur a slew of Tigers rallies against the Royals, though they ultimately lost, 12-9, and lost ground in the American League Wild Card race.

Detroit is 1 1/2 games behind Baltimore for the second AL Wild Card spot.

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Kyle Beery is a reporter for MLB.com based in Detroit. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Boyd allows first four KC batters to hit for cycle

Tigers lefty only fifth pitcher since 1913 to do so without recording an out

Boyd allows first four KC batters to hit for cycle

DETROIT -- While Matt Boyd emerged alongside Michael Fulmer and Daniel Norris in the Tigers' rotation, manager Brad Ausmus warned of the ups and downs young pitchers can take down the stretch. On Sunday, they downside hit Detroit hard.

One day after the Royals spoiled the Tigers' playoff pursuit by rallying off closer Francisco Rodriguez, they put up their offensive onslaught at the start. Kansas City's first four batters combined to hit for the cycle off Boyd in a four-run first inning in Sunday's 12-9 Tigers loss at Comerica Park.

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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.

Maybin says Tigers should enjoy playoff race

Maybin says Tigers should enjoy playoff race

DETROIT -- The Tigers' clubhouse was near silent after Saturday's stunning loss to the Royals. Many players had left by the time Cameron Maybin returned to his locker.

It was Maybin who had to chase Paulo Orlando's game-tying double to the center-field wall. Afterwards, it was Maybin who set the tone for his teammates to pursue, as he has several times this 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. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Tigers can't hold late lead, fall out of WC spot

Tigers can't hold late lead, fall out of WC spot

DETROIT -- What looked like another step in the Tigers' charge toward the American League playoffs became a potentially costly stumble in the ninth, courtesy of a Royals rally reminiscent of last year. Eric Hosmer's go-ahead three-run homer punctuated a five-run ninth off Francisco Rodriguez, propelling Kansas City to a 7-4 win Saturday in front of a stunned Comerica Park crowd.

The loss ended Detroit's five-game winning streak and dropped the Tigers out of playoff position, with the Orioles beating the D-backs at night to take sole possession of the second AL Wild Card spot. With the Blue Jays' 3-0 win over the Yankees, the Tigers are two games out of the first AL Wild Card.

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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.

Jeffrey Flanagan has covered the Royals since 1991, and for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter @FlannyMLB.

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

K-Rod takes blame for not closing out KC

Tigers veteran closer lets two-run lead slip away, then allows game-winning HR

K-Rod takes blame for not closing out KC

DETROIT -- Francisco Rodriguez was still in full uniform as reporters waited to talk with him Saturday. He sat at his locker, trying to collect his thoughts, to process what had happened. 

He owns 430 career saves, more than anyone currently in a Major League uniform and fourth-most in MLB history. He has 71 blown saves along the way. Even after 15 seasons, the blown saves crush him. 

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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 keeping Fulmer on regular rest

Rookie righty will face Indians on Wednesday

Tigers keeping Fulmer on regular rest

DETROIT -- Coming off his first win in more than a month, Tigers rookie right-hander Michael Fulmer is scheduled to make his next start on regular rest, manager Brad Ausmus announced Saturday.

Fulmer allowed one run over seven innings during Friday night's 8-3 win against the Royals. He will pitch again Wednesday at Comerica Park against the Indians for the final time in the regular season. It will be his first start on four days' rest since Aug. 19, when he allowed a season-high six runs in 5 1/3 innings against Boston.

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Kyle Beery is a reporter for MLB.com based in Detroit. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Tigers' Norris delivers another solid start

Young lefty settles in, allows just two runs over 5 2/3

Tigers' Norris delivers another solid start

DETROIT -- Tigers manager Brad Ausmus often says that about all that a manager can ask of his starter is to give his team a chance to win.

Daniel Norris did just that Saturday at Comerica Park, allowing two earned runs over 5 2/3 innings in the Tigers' 7-4 loss against the Royals.

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Kyle Beery is a reporter for MLB.com based in Detroit. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Tigers maintain 2nd WC with 5th straight win

Tigers maintain 2nd WC with 5th straight win

DETROIT -- The Tigers' transition from pursuer to pursued in the American League Wild Card race went swimmingly on Friday night. Victor Martinez, Justin Upton and Cameron Maybin all homered off Danny Duffy to provide an early lead for Michael Fulmer, who struck out nine Royals over seven innings for his first win in five weeks with an 8-3 victory at Comerica Park.

Detroit's fifth consecutive win maintained its half-game lead over Baltimore for the second Wild Card spot.

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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.

Jeffrey Flanagan has covered the Royals since 1991, and for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter @FlannyMLB.

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

Kinsler helps 'score' win in return against KC

Tigers second baseman logs 2 hits, 3 runs in series opener

Kinsler helps 'score' win in return against KC

DETROIT -- Tigers second baseman Ian Kinsler returned to the lineup on Friday against the Royals as expected, with a new appreciation for the concussion protocol players have to go through to return to the field.

Kinsler went 2-for-3 with three runs scored in an 8-3 win at Comerica Park, exiting for a defensive replacement in the ninth inning with the game in hand.

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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.

Fulmer changes things up, flusters Royals

Rookie righty glad to help Tigers maintain Wild Card spot

Fulmer changes things up, flusters Royals

DETROIT -- If he hadn't already, Michael Fulmer solidified his American League Rookie of the Year Award candidacy on Friday night with seven innings of one-run baseball in the Tigers' 8-3 win over the Royals.

The 23-year-old right-hander took the mound with the Tigers looking to maintain their half-game lead for the second American League Wild Card spot and he stepped up in a big way, logging seven strong innings with nine strikeouts. And the pressure of the playoff push doesn't seem to be a big deal for the poised youngster.

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Kyle Beery is a reporter for MLB.com based in Detroit. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Ordonez returns to Detroit for '06 anniversary

Tigers great and playoff hero is now mayor, baseball team owner in Venezuela

Ordonez returns to Detroit for '06 anniversary

DETROIT -- Far removed from his days of patrolling right field at Comerica Park and winning batting titles, Magglio Ordonez now has a little more responsibility. He is the mayor of the Juan Antonio Sotillo Municipality in eastern Venezuela. He also owns the baseball team Caribes de Anzoategui of the Venezuelan Professional Baseball League.

Ordonez took time to step away from his busy life to visit Comerica Park as a part of the Tigers' 10-year anniversary celebration of the 2006 American League Championship team. He will participate in a pregame Q&A session with fans and throw out the ceremonial first pitch before Saturday's game against the Royals.

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Kyle Beery is a reporter for MLB.com based in Detroit. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Vote: Fulmer up for Best Rookie Award

Balloting open until Nov. 11 to reward game's elite

Vote: Fulmer up for Best Rookie Award

Voting is underway through Nov. 11 at MLB.com/awards to help decide who wins Best Rookie regardless of league affiliation, and all five of your candidates are currently playing key roles in pennant races: Tigers right-hander Michael Fulmer, Indians center fielder Tyler Naquin, Yankees catcher Gary Sanchez, Dodgers shortstop Corey Seager and Nationals center fielder Trea Turner.

The Esurance MLB Awards annually honor Major League Baseball's greatest achievements as part of an industry-wide balloting process that includes five groups, each of which accounts for 20 percent of the overall vote: media, front-office personnel, retired MLB players, Society for American Baseball Research (SABR) voters and fans like you at MLB.com.

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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 working Rondon into late-inning spots

Tigers working Rondon into late-inning spots

DETROIT -- The last time Tigers reliever Bruce Rondon pitched in a big game at Target Field with a postseason race in the balance, he helped clinch an American League Central title, striking out the middle of the Twins' lineup in order in the eighth inning on Sept. 24, 2013.

That was almost three years ago to the day. It was also his last outing that season. His elbow issues, which had sidelined him for three weeks before that, flared up again, and kept him out of the playoffs, a loss that haunted Detroit in the AL Championship Series amidst two Red Sox comebacks. Rondon had Tommy John surgery the following spring. 

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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 take over 2nd WC with twin-bill sweep

Tigers take over 2nd WC with twin-bill sweep

MINNEAPOLIS -- The Tigers rolled into Target Field on Thursday morning for a long day of work. They left town with an American League Wild Card spot in their grasp. Justin Verlander's six innings of work and Erick Aybar's two RBIs helped Detroit to a doubleheader sweep, capped by a 4-2 win in the nightcap.

The two victories, combined with an Orioles loss to the Red Sox, vaulted Detroit into the second Wild Card spot, taking a half-game lead. Detroit erased a three-game Wild Card deficit by winning its last four games, while the O's were swept by Boston. The Tigers won the season series by taking all nine games at Target Field, the first division foe to go unbeaten at Minnesota since the 1979 Rangers.

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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.

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.

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

J-Up's HR lifts Tigers to Game 1 win over Twins

J-Up's HR lifts Tigers to Game 1 win over Twins

MINNEAPOLIS -- Justin Upton hit a go-ahead homer in the seventh inning on Thursday afternoon at Target Field before Victor Martinez's pinch-hit three-run homer in the ninth sent the Tigers on their way to an 9-2 win over the Twins to begin a day-night doubleheader.

The win moved Detroit within a half-game of Baltimore for the second American League Wild Card spot. A win in the nightcap and an Orioles loss Thursday evening would put the Tigers into the spot by themselves.

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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.

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.

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

The postseason race today: Fulmer chases ROY

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The postseason race today: Fulmer chases ROY

With only 10 days left in the season, every game has the potential to alter the postseason picture. As we enter the final days of the stretch run, we'll spotlight the biggest moments that we know you won't want to miss.

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