Detroit Tigers - PlayerWatch
RF Torii Hunter saw his 13-game hitting streak come to an end Sunday but he did made a key contribution. Hunter came up with men on second and third and one out in the eighth and delivered a sacrifice fly to give Detroit a 3-0 lead. "This is all we had in mind," Hunter said after the win. "Guys were here earlier than they usually are. They were stretching, they were lifting, they were in the cages hitting early. They were loose. We've got a bunch of guys who keep cool at all times."
RHP Joe Nathan turned in a 1-2-3 ninth Sunday for his 35th save. "He's an experienced guy," manager Brad Ausmus said. "I know people like to look at numbers, but getting the 25th, 26th and 27th outs are a lot different than the 19th, 20th and 21st. It was nice to hear the 'Let's Go Joe' chants again." Nathan ended the season with a 5-4 record and 4.81 ERA. "I think he's 18-of-20 or 17-of-19 since we got Joakim Soria," Ausmus said.
Rajai Davis hopes to be able to play Thursday after suffering a rare injury during the second inning Saturday night. "Honestly, I don't really know all that stuff about it," Davis said of the nature of the injury, which has to do with a ligament attaching to cartilage in the pelvic area. "I feel a lot better than yesterday. I feel like it's not going to be long." He was limping when he reported to Comerica Park. "He was feeling much better when he came back from the MRI," head trainer Kevin Rand said. "But the only thing you would say is you're not getting into explosion. Explosion is his game. Rajai has a pretty good feel for when he feels explosive and when he doesn't."
2B Ian Kinsler drove in two of Detroit's three runs Sunday, hitting a solo home run in the third and collecting an RBI single in the eighth. "Without him we wouldn't be here," C Alex Avila said. "He can beat you with his bat, his arm, his glove and his legs." "I'm having a lot of fun playing the game right now," Kinsler said. "It's fun hitting in front of Torii (Hunter) and Miggy (Cabrera). You get a lot of good pitches to hit."
LHP David Price showed Sunday why Detroit got him at the trade deadline with a strong performance in the game in which the Tigers clinched their fourth straight AL Central Division title. Price worked 7 1/3 shutout innings, allowed four hits and two walks with eight strikeouts. "He's huge," Tigers RF Torii Hunter said. "He stays on the mound even if he throws 190 pitches." "Guys of his caliber you don't worry about," C Alex Avila said. "The difference between this start and his last start: not as many pitches over the middle of the plate. His cutter was great." Price was acquired from Tampa Bay on July 31.
CF Ezequiel Carrera got the nod in center Sunday with the injury of CF Rajai Davis. Manager Brad Ausmus chose Carrera over UTL Don Kelly and OF Tyler Collins because of better ability in center. Carrera also plays the speed game Davis enjoys, just without as much hitting ability. Carrera walked and went 0-for-2. He tried to bunt for a base hit but bunted into an out after showing bunt on the first pitch, which took away the element of surprise.