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News » Detroit Tigers Notes, Quotes 2009-05-12

Detroit Tigers Notes, Quotes 2009-05-12

Detroit Tigers Notes, Quotes 2009-05-12
--RHP Rick Porcello was struck by a thought during the weekend as he got his first look at Cleveland's Progressive Field: "It was cool to be in the same town where my grandfather played," Porcello said. His mother's father was Sam Dente, a shortstop who played on the Indians' 1954 squad that won 111 games and lost in the World Series to the New York Giants. Dente died in 2002, when Porcello was barely a teen-ager. "I only met him twice," Porcello said. "I was real young, so I never got to talk to him about baseball. I'm kind of disappointed in that regard, but it's still pretty cool to have a grandfather that played in the big leagues."

--C Gerald Laird is one of several Detroit players fighting through a hitting slump. The veteran catcher was hitless last week and now has just one hit in his last 32 at-bats after Sunday's 0-for-3. But he contributed to the Tigers' 4-0 victory at Cleveland on Saturday night with a simple groundout. It came with one out and runners at second and third, however, and drove in the first run of the game. "I know I've been struggling," Laird said, "but you have to continue to grind it out and bear down. I was able to muscle it to short to score a run." A prolonged at-bat that included several barely foul liners to right his last time up might be a prelude to the slump's end later this week.

--1B/3B Jeff Larish is seeing the benefits of making a short return to Class AAA Toledo. The reserve corner infielder was Detroit's DH Sunday and hit his second home run of the season after collecting his first major league triple the night before. Larish got a rare start at first base Saturday night with 1B Miguel Cabrera serving as Detroit's designated hitter. "I really think with Larish, you're seeing the benefit of him going to Toledo and getting to bat for two weeks," manager Jim Leyland said. "I know that was part of the reason they sent me down, to get comfortable at the plate and help whenever I can," Larish said.

--LHP Bobby Seay had a tune-up performance Sunday in Cleveland. Seay, who if he's used will be facing the left-handed hitting sluggers in the heart of Minnesota's lineup Tuesday and Wednesday, worked a 1-2-3 seventh against the Indians and then retired the two batters he faced in the eighth before being relieved.

BY THE NUMBERS: 25 -- RBI by Detroit's two shortstops through Sunday, most of any team in the majors. Backup SS Ramon Santiago had 13 and regular SS Adam Everett 12.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "This is not experimental and it's not developmental. This is the big leagues. He's going to the rotation and we expect everybody there to help us win games. The expectations are no higher on him than anyone else." -- Manager Jim Leyland, on the scheduled return Wednesday to the Detroit rotation of LHP Dontrelle Willis, who has been out all year with an anxiety disorder.

Author:Fox Sports
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Added: May 12, 2009

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