Tigers' Wells keeps up torrid start to career

Tigers' Wells keeps up torrid start to career

ARLINGTON -- Rookie outfielder Casper Wells had a career-high four hits in four at-bats in Tuesday's 11-4 loss to Texas, continuing a red-hot start to his Major League career.

Wells became the second Tigers rookie to be perfect at the plate in at least four at-bats this season -- center fielder Austin Jackson had five hits in as many at-bats on April 30 vs. the Angels. It's the first time the Tigers have had this feat happen since 1974 when Gene Lamont and Marvin Lane did it.

"Looking at it at the end of the day, it's pretty special," Wells said. "But it's not as satisfying when the team doesn't win."

Wells, 25, had 20 hits in his first 56 at-bats in the big leagues. He's had two home runs and 10 RBIs in the last 14 games, as he's begun an early audition for next season. He's not thinking about things like that, but he does know the Tigers' top decision-makers are paying attention.

"Any time you're up in the big leagues," Wells said, "unless you're in a situation where you're an established player getting a contract, you're going to be under the microscope and auditioning to get a starting role someday and to kind of get that contract and add some stability. It's not the first thing that crosses my mind that I'm playing for next year. I don't think about it during the game."

Manager Jim Leyland said it's important for Wells to play now, but not anymore important than it is for Johnny Damon or Brandon Inge.

"It's important for the veterans and the young guys," Leyland said. "It's important for everybody."