LHP Chad Bell had another quality outing in long relief Sunday, which is probably the role manager Brad Ausmus will keep him in. Bell has made seven appearances for Detroit over two stints with the club and has been scored upon in just two of his appearances. He was recalled and pitched June 13 against Arizona, hurling 3 2/3 shutout inning and allowing four hits, before Sunday, when he pitched 4 2/3 innings and gave up a pair of solo home runs in his last inning of work. “He’s not going to throw shutout innings through September,” manager Brad Ausmus said of the home runs. “But I‘m not worried about it.”
DH Alex Avila continues to have a productive season for the Tigers. Avila, used as the designated hitter Sunday to keep his bat in the lineup, had two singles plus a walk for his day’s work. He’ll probably play nearly every day, except possibly against a tough left-hander, with regular DH Victor Martinez on the disabled list with an irregular heartbeat. Avila will catch most of the time but also could play at first as well as DH.
RHP Buck Farmer, whose spot in the rotation looked so solid two starts back, came up with a second straight clunker Sunday and was optioned back to Triple-A Toledo after the game. Farmer gave up seven runs to Tampa Bay on three home runs -- a two-run shot to 1B Logan Morrison in the second, a solo blast by C Derek Norris in the third plus a grand slam by RF Steven Souza Jr. in the same inning. Detroit brought back RHP Anibal Sanchez for a ‘show me’ start Monday so he’ll take Farmer’s spot for at least one turn. “Big league hitters are tough,” manager Brad Ausmus said. “A lot of them have been here for close to 10 years. They’re a lot more adept at taking advantage of mistakes. You might get by a couple times, making mistakes, but they’ll take advantage eventually.”
1B Miguel Cabrera was pulled after seven innings Sunday to give him a few minutes of rest. He’ll be back in the starting lineup Monday in Seattle. Cabrera’s seventh home run of the season Saturday broke a tie with Carl Yastrzemski and put him nine home runs shy of Jose Canseco and Adam Dunn, who share the 35th spot all-time.
DH Victor Martinez will remain in Detroit while the Tigers are on their week-long road trip but manager Brad Ausmus is expressing some optimism his cleanup hitter will be able to return fairly soon after that. “This isn’t a classic baseball DL situation,” Ausmus said, “so I don’t want to speak out of turn. The doctors think that about after a week he might be able to do cardio-type activity, light cardio-type activity. I‘m guessing it’s going to a tolerated (thing) after that. I think we’re just going to wait to see how he’s doing when we get back from the road trip. And if he gets the doctors’ clearance and he feels OK he might start hitting again. I would classify hitting as light cardio activity.”
RHP Anibal Sanchez will be recalled Monday from his voluntary assignment to Triple-A Toledo so he can start Monday night at Seattle against the Mariners. “He accepted that assignment to go pitch in Toledo so he could take another shot at starting,” manager Brad Ausmus said. “So we’re going to see. He’s been throwing the ball well. Good changeup. Velocity’s been up to 93.” The insertion of Sanchez (0-0, 9.00 ERA) for his first start of the season will give Detroit’s starters an extra day of rest. Where Sanchez fits will be determined by how he fares in his Monday start. The bullpen hasn’t worked out for Sanchez, so starting, a trade or getting designated for assignment are the most likely options.