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News » Detroit Tigers Notes, Quotes 2008-05-29

Detroit Tigers Notes, Quotes 2008-05-29

Detroit Tigers Notes, Quotes 2008-05-29
--LF Marcus Thames made his manager look smart Wednesday night, hitting a pair of two-run home runs on the night Jim Leyland said he was going to give him more at-bats. "Marcus can be a streaky guy," Leyland said. "and hopefully we can get him on a streak. I've got to try something." Thames hit in the third spot, previously occupied by injured DH Gary Sheffield. He will remain in left field (or at DH) this weekend against the right-handers Seattle will be sending out to face Detroit. Thames has hit five home runs, all off lefties, with more than half of his at-bats coming against right-handers. Both of Thames' home runs Wednesday came on outside pitches, the first one of which he pulled, while the second one he took the other way.

--CF Curtis Granderson is going to play full time, for the time being. "He's a catalyst for us," manager Jim Leyland said. "We've got to get him going. That's important." Granderson faced a lefty, Joe Saunders, on Wednesday night and lined a single to left his first time up. He added another single later, against a right-handed reliever.

Granderson feels batting against lefties full time might help him because it forces him to concentrate longer on the pitch.

"You have to stay on them. In order to have success against them, everything has to go right," Granderson said. "So having success against a lefty can translate into success the next day against a right-hander. But you have to do everything right that day. It's not going to just happen automatically jumping in against a lefty."

--RHP Armando Galarraga came within two outs Wednesday night of posting Detroit's first shutout of the season. Galarraga took a three-hitter into the ninth but gave up a one-out walk and then a two-run home run to force him from the game. He threw first-pitch strikes to 18 of 28 batters and stayed ahead of the hitters most of the night. He was also helped by three double plays. Galarraga was rebounding from his worst start of the season, and Wednesday night he had his sinker and breaking ball in complete control.

--RF Ryan Raburn might have his playing time cut with LF Marcus Thames playing full time in left and CF Curtis Granderson now batting against everybody. But Wednesday night, he played right field so RF Magglio Ordonez could DH. Raburn still could sub at second and occasionally at third.

--C Ivan Rodriguez was moved up to sixth in the batting order Wednesday night by manager Jim Leyland in an effort to get a little more out of his offense. Rodriguez has been batting leadoff against some left-handed pitchers, but that will disappear now that CF Curtis Granderson, the regular leadoff man, is playing full time. Rodriguez typically has batted eighth and ninth most of the rest of the time.

--3B Carlos Guillen got a day off to let his hemorrhoids heal up Wednesday night. "I'm going to stand him for a couple days," manager Jim Leyland said, noting Guillen is having problems sitting down. Detroit is off Thursday. Resting Guillen let Leyland insert UT Brandon Inge at third and have RF Magglio Ordonez DH, giving UT Ryan Raburn a start in right.

--OF Matt Joyce was optioned back to Class AAA Toledo following Wednesday night's game. Joyce hit five home runs in nine games but is 1-for-16 with seven strikeouts since then. "They are working him over a little bit now, obviously," manager Jim Leyland said. "We talked to him about possibly going down to winter ball in Mexico, where they throw a lot of off-speed and breaking stuff. But that's down the road. We really like him. We think he has a future with us."

--OF Clete Thomas, who opened the season with Detroit as a surprise roster addition but struggled when sent back to the minors, was brought back by the Tigers on Wednesday. He will join the team for the start of its series in Seattle on Friday. Thomas will serve more as a defensive replacement and pinch runner than as an offensive performer.

BY THE NUMBERS: 98 -? Miles per hour RHP Joel Zumaya threw in his first competitive situation of the year, an extended spring training contest in which he pitched an inning.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "Look, this team needs to realize that this guy took on Barry Bonds. He'd run every one of us out of town. You're just better off if you don't cross him. And I think he relayed that message 100 percent. You just don't mess with him. It's not that hard. He doesn't ask a whole lot." -? RHP Todd Jones after his manager, Jim Leyland, challenged his players to "look in the mirror" if they wanted to blame somebody for the team's struggles.

Author:Fox Sports
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Added: May 29, 2008

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