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V-Mart scuffling at plate to begin second half

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DETROIT -- Victor Martinez, likely the MVP of the Tigers' first half, had just two hits in 12 at-bats over his first three games after the All-Star break.

It's no coincidence that the Detroit offense has struggled to produce runs since the break. The Tigers' highest output in the first three games vs. the Indians was three runs. Martinez struck out 23 times in the first half, but he has whiffed four times in the early stages of the second half.

"His timing's a little off," manager Brad Ausmus said. "It's not quite where it was."

Prior to the break, the 35-year-old Martinez was sidelined for the better portion of two weeks with back and side soreness.

Ausmus talked to Martinez following Saturday night's loss, and the designated hitter reported feeling fine. He started at first base Sunday for the first time this month.

Matt Slovin is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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