Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 7/30/12

The addition of Anibal Sanchez to Detroit's rotation has shifted the area-of-need focus to the bottom five members of the batting order.

A faltering 2-4 start to a nine-game road trip that continues Monday in Boston put a light on a problem that appeared to be disappearing with Detroit surging to first place in the AL Central through the first three weeks of July.

But five games in which the Tigers got just two RBI from their bottom five hitters (or non-hitters, as you wish) prior to a two-home-run, four-RBI performance Sunday by Jhonny Peralta suggests that general manager Dave Dombrowski might surprise sometime between now and Aug. 31 and pluck a reliable, run-producing, right-handed hitter out of the sky.

It's easier to find a dead Armadillo on a Texas highway than it is to get a solid right-handed hitter at this point in the season, but situations change and Dombrowski might be able to get a veteran who can be rejuvenated or an impending free agent to help shore up the Tigers' stretch run.

One thing's for sure: Futile at-bats from Delmon Young, Brennan Boesch, Peralta and Alex Avila (Omar Infante gets a pass because he's less than a week into his second stint with Detroit) are getting on manager Jim Leyland's nerves.

"We've got to produce runs," Leyland said prior to Saturday's 5-1 loss at Toronto, Detroit's fourth loss in five games. "Guys have to produce runs. That's what it's all about. You win games when guys knock in runs. It's that simple. You don't win when guys get on. You win games when guys knock them in. That's how you win games.

"Simple, plain fact of the matter is -- obviously, guys have got to be out there -- but if you look at the course of the games, every game played in the major leagues throughout the course of the season, for the most part, both teams will have enough guys out there.

"It's who the bleep knocks them in. That's what we've got to get. We've got to get production. People have to knock in freaking runs. Simple, plain and bleeping simple. That's the way it is.

"That's not being a hard-ass. That's not being upset. I'm just telling you a fact. That's who wins games. That's why the game is made of runs. Eight runs, seven runs, six runs, one run, whatever it is, it's runs. That's what counts. Runs. Not the people on. The people who freaking touch home plate. That's what you want. That's why the guys who knock 'em in get paid. Simple. It'll never flipping change.

"That's why (Miguel) Cabrera and (Prince) Fielder are stars. They knock in runs."

That's the expurgated version of Leyland's lament. He doesn't name names, but the statistics have all the finger-pointing a manager needs.

Leyland likes to point to track records over a career. But at some point, the current season's non-production outweighs history. GMs get involved then.

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