Ian Kinsler is safe at third on a single by J.D. Martinez during the first inning Wednesday. (Elizabeth Conley / Detroit News)
Detroit – For the third consecutive game, Victor Martinez didn’t start on Wednesday because of his sore side.
But the Tigers are thinking that, with more than 24 hours between the starting times of Wednesday’s game against Oakland and Thursday night’s game against Tampa Bay, Martinez will be ready to play in the series opener against the Rays.
“If you ask him, though,” said manager Brad Ausmus, “he’d probably say he already could play.”
Because of Martinez’s absence, however, Miguel Cabrera didn’t take Wednesday off – Wednesday being the day Ausmus envisioned giving him off when he said over the weekend in Houston that Cabrera would get a day off soon.
“I think Miggy does need a day, but with Victor down, I told him we’d do it another time.
“I could give him a DH day, which would take him off his feet, and that would be a plus,” said Ausmus, “but sometimes you need a day when you don’t have to think about anything – when you just watch the game.”
Around the horn
J.D. Martinez and Anibal Sanchez were named Tigers Player and Pitcher of the Month for June.
Martinez hit .345 with seven home runs and 21 RBI. Sanchez was 3-0 with a 2.79 ERA.
... Rick Porcello’s streak of 25.1 consecutive scoreless innings is the second-longest current streak in the majors (to Clayton Kershaw’s 28), but is also longest streak for a Tigers pitcher since Doyle Alexander’s 28 from Sept. 4-19, 1987.
Before that, Jack Morris had a streak of 31 straight scoreless innings from July 4-18, 1986.
... Of Porcello’s four-hit complete-game shutout on Tuesday night, his second shutout in a row, Oakland’s Brandon Moss said, “He pitched his game, and it was a great game.”
... Ausmus said the last two games “would put Rick, I would imagine, front and center among the All-Star possibles.”
... Asked if his catcher’s ERA with starting pitchers was ever important to him, Ausmus replied, “Only if it was low.”