MLB

Fielder, Tigers still looking dangerous

Share This Story

   
 

DETROIT (AP)

Prince Fielder took another massive swing and sent a drive to right that made Comerica Park look like a Little League field.

The homer helped the Tigers finish a three-game sweep of Kansas City entering the All-Star break - and sent a reminder to the rest of the AL Central that there's a sleeping giant in Motown.

After reaching the AL championship series last year, Detroit was considered a lock for the playoffs by many after signing Fielder to a $214 million, nine-year contract in the offseason. The Tigers have struggled - even after winning five straight, they trail the first-place Chicago White Sox by 3 1/2 games - but don't blame Detroit's burly new first baseman. He has adjusted to his new surroundings and performed pretty much as expected.

''The baseball part's the same,'' Fielder said. ''It's just everything's different when you've been playing somewhere for seven years and you come somewhere else. That's the different part. I think the baseball stays the same, but as far as off the field and getting to know your teammates, that's a little different. But once the game starts, it's the same.''

Fielder became one of the most consistent and durable power hitters while with the Milwaukee Brewers, and since joining the Tigers, he's done nothing to cast doubt on that reputation. He's hit .299 with 15 homers in 86 games, and he'll start Tuesday night's All-Star game. Although his power numbers are down a bit from last year, his overall performance is within his normal range.

During Detroit's recent five-game run, he drove in 10 runs and hit three homers, including the three-run shot in Sunday's 7-1 win over the Royals that went an estimated 417 feet.

''The amount of power he has, it's awesome. You got to see it,'' Detroit right-hander Max Scherzer said. ''That's just the type of talent he has and why he makes our team great.''

The Tigers have battled injuries all season, and complementary players like Ryan Raburn and Brennan Boesch have struggled. Their defense has also been a weakness, as expected.

But Detroit still has enough star power to contend. Ace Justin Verlander has followed last year's MVP season with a first half good enough to earn him a start in the All-Star game. Miguel Cabrera, hitting .324 with 18 homers, bats third and Fielder is at cleanup.

''It's exactly what I expected. He's doing what he does every year,'' Fielder said. ''I still don't think he gets enough credit for how great he is and it's unfortunate.''

The 28-year-old Fielder played at least 157 games each of the last six seasons. The 29-year-old Cabrera has played at least 150 for eight seasons running. They've both played all 86 games this year.

''That's a blessing for a manager. They both like to play,'' Detroit manager Jim Leyland said. ''They want to be in there all the time. Most guys do. They want to play. That's what you signed them for.''

The Tigers were able to survive some poor stretches during the first half, but they still have plenty of work to do. If they're able to bounce back and make good on all those preseason expectations, chances are Fielder and his new slugging partner will be among the biggest reasons.

''Cabrera is as good as they get. I don't see too many more clutch hitters. He's a stud,'' Minnesota manager Ron Gardenhire said. ''When he walks up there, I'm just hoping we have somebody standing where he's going to hit it. I quit worrying about striking him out. Fielder, the same way. You're hoping you get in a situation where you can pitch around them. I don't care who's hitting behind them.''

---

AP Sports Writer Larry Lage contributed to this report.

Tagged: Tigers, Miguel Cabrera, Prince Fielder

Related Stories

Member Comments

Please note by clicking on "Post comment" you acknowledge that you have read the Terms of Use and the comment you are posting is in compliance with such terms. Be Polite. Inappropriate posts may be removed by the moderator.

powered by



MLB Videos

Bautista talks Derek Jeter's final All-Star Game Posted: Jul 16, 2014
Jose Bautista discusses Derek Jeter's career and his final appearance in the MLB...

Jeter honored to play in last All-Star Game Posted: Jul 16, 2014
Derek Jeter compares his first All-Star Game experience with his last, Mike Trou...

Matheny defends Wainwright: He's out there to compete Posted: Jul 16, 2014
Mike Matheny comments on the media's reaction to Adam Wainwright's joke about le...

SimLeague Baseball - Simulation Baseball Game

Fox Sports Store

    itemName itemURL imageSrc price itemDescription
    Nike New York Yankees Practice T-Shirt - Ash http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_New_York_Yankees/browse/featuredproduct/606363/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_606000/ff_606363_xl.jpg&w=100 27.95 Nike New York Yankees Practice T-Shirt - Ash
    Majestic Detroit Tigers 2012 MLB American League Champions Clubhouse Locker Room T-Shirt - Navy Blue http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Detroit_Tigers/browse/featuredproduct/1064043/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1064000/ff_1064043_xl.jpg&w=100 24.95 Majestic Detroit Tigers 2012 MLB American League Champions Clubhouse Locker Room..
    Majestic San Francisco Giants 2012 MLB World Series Champions Clubhouse Locker Room T-Shirt - Gray http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_San_Francisco_Giants/browse/featuredproduct/1067359/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1067000/ff_1067359_xl.jpg&w=100 24.95 Majestic San Francisco Giants 2012 MLB World Series Champions Clubhouse Locker R..
    Majestic San Francisco Giants 2012 MLB World Series Champions Clubhouse Locker Room Pullover Hoodie - Steel http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_San_Francisco_Giants/browse/featuredproduct/1067382/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1067000/ff_1067382_xl.jpg&w=100 54.95 Majestic San Francisco Giants 2012 MLB World Series Champions Clubhouse Locker R..
    New Era San Francisco Giants 2012 MLB World Series Champions Clubhouse Locker Room 39THIRTY Flex Hat - Charcoal/Black http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_San_Francisco_Giants/browse/featuredproduct/1067785/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1067000/ff_1067785_xl.jpg&w=100 31.95 New Era San Francisco Giants 2012 MLB World Series Champions Clubhouse Locker Ro..
    Majestic San Francisco Giants 2012 MLB World Series Champions Glory T-Shirt - Black http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_San_Francisco_Giants/browse/featuredproduct/1068294/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1068000/ff_1068294_xl.jpg&w=100 21.95 Majestic San Francisco Giants 2012 MLB World Series Champions Glory T-Shirt - Bl..
    Majestic San Francisco Giants 2012 MLB World Series Champions Batting Practice Performance Jersey - Black/Orange http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_San_Francisco_Giants/browse/featuredproduct/1068787/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1068000/ff_1068787_xl.jpg&w=100 94.95 Majestic San Francisco Giants 2012 MLB World Series Champions Batting Practice P..