Tigers' Adduci looks to stay hot vs. Indians (May 01, 2017)

BY AP • May 1, 2017

DETROIT -- Jim Adduci is either causing Detroit a problem or providing the Tigers with a solution.

Adduci, who turns 32 on May 15, has been swinging a hot bat in the week's worth of games he has played since Detroit called him up after center fielder JaCoby Jones took a pitch to the face April 22.

His RBI double to left-center played a key part in Detroit's four-run fourth inning Sunday in a 7-3 win over the Chicago White Sox. His left-handed bat means he is likely to be in right field again Monday when right-hander Trevor Bauer (2-2, 6.26 ERA) pitches for Cleveland in the opener of a four-game series against the Tigers at Comerica Park.

Adduci is hitting .400 through seven games with the Tigers.

It would seem Adduci will survive the cut when first baseman Miguel Cabrera returns from the disabled list on Tuesday. Catcher/first baseman John Hicks, hitting .423 in his seven games with the Tigers, is a leading candidate to be returned to the minors.

Jones is currently on a rehab assignment with Triple-A Toledo. And while the Tigers say they sent him there just to deal with the fear factor that can follow taking a pitch to the head, it is likely they will keep him there to deal with the pitch-recognition problems that were plaguing him just before he got hurt.

When Detroit does determine Jones and his excellent center field skills are needed, someone will have to go. That will also be the case when J.D. Martinez, on the disabled list since spring training with a Lisfranc strain in his right foot, returns to action sometime around mid-May.

Adduci spent the last two seasons in South Korea, where he hit .314 with 28 home runs and 106 RBIs two years ago and .256 with nine home runs and 52 RBIs for three teams last year.

"Try to stay in the moment," Adduci said Sunday of what he learned overseas. "The important thing is today."

The Tigers have a young, up-and-down left-hander, Daniel Norris, starting Monday night against the Indians.

Norris threw six innings of two-hit shutout ball three starts ago, but the southpaw's two starts since were not good. The two losses dropped him to 1-2 with a 4.71 ERA.

Cleveland has yet to beat Norris. In four career starts against the Indians, he is 2-0 with a 1.69 ERA.

Bauer has had trouble with Detroit in the past, losing his only decision to the Tigers this year. Overall, he is 4-4 with a 7.24 ERA against the Tigers.

Cleveland finished 14-10 in April, the first time in five years the Indians posted a winning mark in the first true month of the season.

"Our mindset is to win every series and be one run better than the other team in every game," said Cleveland's winning pitcher Sunday, Josh Tomlin. "We're getting into that groove now as a team.

"You always want to have a winning record in every month. This bodes well for us going into May. Hopefully we can keep it going."

Indians shortstop Francisco Lindor added, "April is about surviving. You don't want to fall too far behind. We've been playing awesome. Now we want to build off this month and see where it takes us."

Cleveland manager Terry Francona has been careful in his use of right-handed closer Cody Allen and left-handed setup man Andrew Miller, although he says he isn't overly worried about their arduous 2016 postseason.

"It's nice to see them kind of hit the ground running," Francona said, "but I wasn't maybe as concerned as other people were about that. It's not that I don't care. I just think the way they work and their talent, I think they're going to be just fine."

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