Notes: Miner on a roll

Tigers notes: Miner on a roll

MILWAUKEE -- The Tigers have filled their rotation void with a midseason trade acquisition from Atlanta, a right-hander who can step in and rack up quality starts without having the team feel like it's lost a beat.

Nope, it's not John Smoltz. It's Zach Miner.

The secondary player thrown into last July's Kyle Farnsworth trade, Miner is suddenly the primary reason the Tigers have moved on unshaken from Mike Maroth's elbow surgery. And he has gone from an obscure Minor League pitcher for a Braves club whose playoff run might be ending to a big-league starter for a Tigers club whose stretch of success might just be beginning.

"I wouldn't change it for the world," Miner said.

Tuesday's 10-1 victory marked Miner's third consecutive win since losing his Major League debut against the Red Sox on June 4. Despite the lopsided score, the latest win was arguably the best outing of the bunch. On a day when Miner could've cruised, given up runs and still won, Miner fell one out shy of a shutout. He still ended up with his first big-league complete game, giving the Tigers bullpen a night off by working through nine innings in a relatively efficient 112 pitches.

It was a prime example of the difference between Miner upon his arrival to the big leagues and Miner now. The Miner in his Major League debut saw Boston's imposing lineup and tried to pitch around it, falling behind hitters in the process and working his way out of the game at the 87-pitch mark, one batter into the fifth inning.

Since then, Miner had found ways to challenge hitters by using his fastball-changeup combination. He has limited opponents to three earned runs on 12 hits in 22 innings during this three-game winning streak. It's been overlooked in part because the rest of the rotation has pitched equally well or better around him.

"I was doing the game chart [Monday] and they threw up [on the television broadcast] what we had done the last seven games," Miner said. "And then Bondo strikes out 12. I'm not going to strike out 12, maybe ever."

But he is going to get outs when he's pitching well. When he used his changeup early in counts on Tuesday, with the Brewers down big and looking for home runs, he retired 20 batters in a row.

"He's done well," manager Jim Leyland said. "He's got some late movement and his ball sinks. If he keeps the ball down, he can get some outs for you."

Lineup tinkering: Leyland used the getaway day to rest Ivan Rodriguez, Placido Polanco and Curtis Granderson and toy around with his lineup. Brandon Inge moved up to the leadoff spot for the third time this season, Craig Monroe made his seventh start in center field, and Vance Wilson batted third for the second time in four days.

It's an odd arrangement, and Leyland knows it. He kind of likes it that way.

"I want [the players] to think I'm a little goofy," he said. "It kind of opens up their eyes once in a while. It creates some good camaraderie."

New Dominican scouting director: The Tigers announced Wednesday they've hired Ramon Perez as the director of Dominican scouting. Perez spent the last five years with the Pirates, most recently as their Dominican scouting supervisor. He also worked in scouting and player development for nine years each with the Astros and Dodgers.

Maybin, Sanchez on Futures rosters: Class A West Michigan center fielder Cameron Maybin and Triple-A Toledo starter Humberto Sanchez will represent the Tigers farm system at next month's MLB All-Star Futures Game at Pittsburgh's PNC Park.

Maybin, Detroit's first-round pick in last year's First-Year Player Draft, will be part of the U.S. team managed by Hall of Fame catcher Gary Carter. He entered Wednesday batting .315 with 10 doubles, four triples, two homers, 28 RBIs and nine stolen bases in 36 games.

Sanchez, who was born in the Dominican Republic but raised in New York City, was named to the World Team under manager Ferguson Jenkins. The top pitching prospect in Detroit's system owns an 8-3 record with a 1.49 ERA between Toledo and Double-A Erie.

Seay outrighted: Lefty reliever Bobby Seay, designated for assignment by the Tigers last week, cleared waivers and was outrighted to Triple-A Toledo on Wednesday.

Coming up: The Tigers have an off-day before beginning a six-game Interleague homestand with a Friday night matchup against the St. Louis Cardinals. Justin Verlander (8-4, 3.21 ERA) will face Cy Young award winner Chris Carpenter (6-3, 2.46) at 7:05 p.m. ET.

Jason Beck is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.