C Alex Avila has been a revelation this season in his second stint with the club. Avila, who signed a one-year contract after an injury-plagued season with the White Sox, is hitting .368 with four homers and 14 RBIs. He started at first base on Wednesday when Miguel Cabrera was scratched from the lineup, contributing a double and a walk with a run scored. “There isn’t anything particularly different that I‘m doing,” he said. “I have the same approach, same swing, same everything. The thing that’s key has been health.”
RF J.D. Martinez has been red-hot since returning from the 10-day disabled list last week but manager Brad Ausmus would like to keep him in the No. 6 spot in the order. Martinez has a pair of two-homer games since his return and some fans are clamoring for him to be moved up. He batted third in the lineup on Wednesday when Miguel Cabrera was a late scratch. “J.D. is tearing the cover off the ball in the sixth spot,” Ausmus said. “Do you want to move him? It doesn’t mean I’d never change it.”
CF Tyler Collins busted out of an 0-for-30 slump with a pair of homers and a double on Wednesday. Collins hit both long balls against Baltimore’s Ubaldo Jimenez. It was the first multi-homer game of his career. He remained in the center-field platoon despite the slump. “I know it’s statistically 0-for-30 but I felt great throughout the whole time,” he said. “I hit a lot of hard balls and that’s just baseball. So you can’t get beat up by it.”
RHP Shane Greene has allowed just two runs in his last 17 appearances and one of them was a homer to perennial MVP candidate Mike Trout. He’s held opponents to a .203 average during that stretch. Greene pitched two scoreless innings in the 13-11, 13-inning loss to Baltimore on Tuesday. He’s increasingly being used in high-leverage situations in the seventh and eighth innings. “Shane Greene stands out as a guy who started out slowly and is now pitching really well,” manager Brad Ausmus said.
1B Miguel Cabrera was a late scratch from the lineup on Wednesday. He felt soreness in his left side. He was diagnosed with a Grade 1 oblique strain and is expected to miss 2-3 days. Cabrera sat out nine games earlier this season with a right groin strain. Alex Avila and Andrew Romine will fill in during his absence.