Alex Avila was hitless in his rain-shortened return from the disabled list last night. The Detroit Tigers fell to the Oakland A's in five innings. The A's managed to score one run in the top of the sixth before the rain really shut things down. Avila didn't get much of an opportunity to prove he was back to 100 percent. Of course, with MLB's concussion policy Avila would not have been allowed back on the field if he hadn't passed tests and been cleared by doctors.
Avila has had a rough season this year. He is hitting just .196/.286/.337. This comes after a down season in 2012 as well. Avila was an All-Star in 2011, but he has never quite gotten back to that plateau. The Tigers certainly hope he will because they need production from Avila's spot in the lineup.
Detroit is 77-55. They hold a 5.5 game lead over the Cleveland Indians in the American League Central. That should not feel comfortable. A lead like that can evaporate in a week. What the Tigers have going for them is the fact that they are probably a better team than their record indicates - and their record is pretty good. The Tigers have the highest run differential in all of baseball at +168.
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