Banged-up Tigers come home to take on Mariners (Apr 25, 2017)
DETROIT — The Detroit Tigers left Comerica Park lacking one of their regulars.
They return for a 10-game homestand with nearly half of the lineup ailing.
During the course of a 4-5 road trip, the Tigers had to place shortstop Jose Iglesias, first baseman Miguel Cabrera and center fielder JaCoby Jones on the disabled list. Right fielder J.D. Martinez has yet to make his season debut, leaving the Tigers with a makeshift lineup as they start the homestand against the Seattle Mariners on Tuesday night.
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Iglesias is on the seven-day DL due to concussion symptoms. Cabrera, Jones and Martinez are on the 10-day DL. Cabrera has a groin strain, Jones sustained facial injuries when hit by a pitch, and Martinez is recovering from a foot sprain.
The Tigers received unexpected lifts from minor league call-ups while winning two of three at Minnesota during the weekend.
John Hicks, filling in for Cabrera, had five hits and drove in six runs in the two wins over the Twins. Center fielder Jim Adduci, who hadn’t appeared in a major league game since 2014, had three hits, two runs and two RBIs in a 13-4 victory on Sunday.
Adduci, 31, played two seasons in Korea after appearing in 44 games with the Texas Rangers in 2014.
“It was a great moment,” Adduci said. “Going away for a couple of years, it was great. I had a great experience overseas and it helped me out a lot, in the sense of having a mentality I didn’t have before.”
Hicks’ major league experience before the weekend consisted of 17 games with Seattle in 2015 and one game with Detroit last season.
“Baseball can be a tough life, especially for a journeyman player or a minor-leaguer who doesn’t get a lot of time in the big leagues,” Tigers manager Brad Ausmus told the Detroit News. “When they do get an opportunity, or a taste of this, I think everyone pulls for them.”
The newcomers will try to support right-hander Jordan Zimmermann (1-1, 5.94 ERA) against the Mariners. Zimmermann gave up five runs and 10 hits in an 8-7 loss to the Tampa Bay Rays on Wednesday. He has one career start against Seattle and collected a win.
Zimmermann will be opposed by Felix Hernandez (2-1, 3.65 ERA). The Mariners ace notched his second victory of the season on Wednesday despite giving up a season-high four runs and 12 hits in 6 1/3 innings against the Miami Marlins. He is 9-3 with a 2.48 ERA in 15 career starts against Detroit.
Seattle salvaged the finale of a four-game series against Oakland with an 11-1 win on Sunday. The Mariners made a significant move, designating center fielder Leonys Martin for assignment and promoting first baseman Dan Vogelbach from Triple-A Tacoma.
“Those decisions are hard,” Mariners manager Scott Servais said. “I really like Leonys. He’s a big part of what we are doing here, and unfortunately, he really hadn’t gotten going offensively.”
Vogelbach went 1-for-4 against the A’s on Sunday.
Seattle is hopeful that shortstop Jean Segura will be activated from the DL. Segura has not played since April 10 because of a hamstring strain. Third baseman Kyle Seager did not play Sunday because of a sore hip.
Utility man Taylor Motter hit his fifth homer in 11 games, a grand slam, in the Sunday victory.
“Getting a chance to play is great, and watching this team win is even better,” he told MLB.com. “When we’re losing and I’m playing every day, it’s not fun. It’s not a good feeling. But right now, good win, 11-1 on the road, and now we’re headed to Detroit with an off day (Monday)? I’m one of the happiest people in the world right now.”