Originally posted on Fox Sports Detroit  |  Last updated 5/7/12
The Tigers didn't have a spectacular week, but it might have been an important one. For the first time all season, they look like they might have their starting rotation where they want it. Detroit went 3-2 over the week, but got good performances from all starters. Rick Porcello, who started twice, went 2-0 against Kansas City and Chicago, while Justin Verlander, Drew Smyly and Max Scherzer all got no-decisions despite combining for a 2.14 ERA. Even the missing ingredient, Doug Fister, looked good in his comeback from the rib-cage strain that has had him sidelined since leaving his first start of the season. Fister pitched four scoreless innings for Triple-A Toledo in a rehab start on Wednesday, striking out five and only walking one. He has rejoined the Tigers and will start the first game of the road trip tonight in Seattle. Jim Leyland has said all season that he's confident that, at some point soon, the slumping offense will start to hit. They started to show signs this week, hitting six homers in five games, but when they get into full gear, the Tigers should start to look like the team that started the season 9-3, rather than the one that has limped through the last three weeks. LAST WEEK April 30: No game - The Tigers and Royals get rained out, with the final decision coming a few minutes after Delmon Young's seven-day suspension is announced. The game will be made up in September. May 1: TIGERS 9, Royals 3 - The Tigers blow out Kansas City's struggling Luke Hochevar, scoring nine times on 12 hits in the first four innings. Austin Jackson goes 4-5 and nine different Tigers score one run. May 2: Royals 3, TIGERS 2 - The offense is shut down by Kansas City's Jonathan Sanchez, but Brennan Boesch gives them some life with a game-tying 2-run homer in the eighth. Joaquin Benoit, though, continues to struggle, allowing the Royals a game-winning run in the top of the ninth. May 3: No game - Scheduled off day that is the last of the seven days of Young's suspension. May 4: TIGERS 5, White Sox 4 - Jake Peavy looks like the pitcher who won a Cy Young in San Diego, and the Tigers trail going into the ninth. Alex Avila gets a one-out single off Matt Thornton, and Jhonny Peralta slams a walk-off homer to right. May 5: White Sox 3, TIGERS 2 - A pitcher's duel between Scherzer and Gavin Floyd is turned over to the closer with Detroit leading 2-1 in the ninth. Jose Valverde gives up a massive two-run homer to Adam Dunn, and Addison Reed finishes the game for the White Sox. May 6: TIGERS 3, White Sox 1 - All four runs in the game come on solo homers, with Dunn's second in as many nights beaten out by Detroit's Austin Jackson, Andy Dirks and Prince Fielder. Fielder's homer hits George Kell's name on the brick wall behind the right-centerfield bleachers. WHO'S HOT Alex Avila: After a rough couple of weeks, Avila hit .412 with three extra-base hits this week. His only problem? Jim Leyland's embarrassing tendency to use Gerald Laird to pinch-run for him. Andy Dirks: Dirks hit .375 with a homer and two doubles this week, and earned a promotion to the second spot in the batting order. For the moment, Dirks appears to have solved his hamstring problems and is now the everyday left fielder. WHO'S NOT Brennan Boesch: Boesch lost the second spot in the order by hitting .095 for the week, continuing his season-long struggles at the plate. He's now batting eighth and being replaced late in games for defensive purposes. Second base: Getting rid of Brandon Inge certainly didn't solve the problem at second base, as Ryan Raburn, Ramon Santiago and Danny Worth went a combined 2-19 this week. ROSTER MOVES A fairly quiet week. Brad Eldred went back to Toledo after Young's suspension ended, and Brayan Villarreal joined Eldred in Ohio so that the Tigers could activate Fister for Monday's start. UPCOMING: Monday, May 7: Tigers at Seattle, 10:10 p.m. Tuesday, May 8: Tigers at Seattle, 10:10 p.m. Wednesday, May 9: Tigers at Seattle, 10:10 p.m. Thursday, May 10: Tigers at Athletics, 10:05 p.m. Friday, May 11: Tigers at Athletics, 10:05 p.m. Saturday, May 12: Tigers at Athletics, 8:05 p.m. Sunday, May 13: Tigers at Athletics, 4:05 p.m.
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