July 2, 2014 at 11:26 pm

Tigers' Torii Hunter finally gets a break

Detroit — In the context of Wednesday’s 9-3 victory over the A’s, one run isn’t going to make a difference.

Except, however, when it indicates a hitter might be on the brink of better times.

Torii Hunter has encountered some recent bad luck, hitting the ball hard without finding a hole. That’s the way it went against Texas and Houston, but he’d also been 0-for-7 since returning from an injury.

In 15 games since June 8, Hunter was hitting .154 with only one two-hit game.

But he had three hits Wednesday, lifting his average from .249 to .257. All three were singles, and all three knocked in runs to give Hunter his most productive day since May 4.

But it was Hunter’s two-out single to right in the third that manager Brad Ausmus made mention of after the game.

“He told me he made a little mechanicial adjustment,” Ausmus said. “That line-drive single to right was vintage Torii. When he’s right, that’s how he swings the bat.”

Victor close to start

For the third consecutive game, Victor Martinez (sore side) didn’t start.

But the Tigers are thinking that, with more than 24 hours between the start of Wednesday’s game and today’s series opener against the Rays, Martinez will be ready.

“If you ask him, though, he’d probably say he already could play,” Ausmus said.

Because of Martinez’s absence, Miguel Cabrera didn’t get Wednesday off, which was the day Ausmus envisioned giving.

“I think Miggy does need a day, but with Victor down, I told him we’d do it another time,” Ausmus said. “I could give him a DH day, which would take him off his feet, and that would be a plus. But sometimes you need a day when you don’t have to think about anything, when you just watch the game.”

Around the horn

Rick Porcello’s streak of 2513 consecutive scoreless innings is the second-longest current streak in the majors behind Dodgers ace Clayton
Kershaw’s 28. But, it’s the longest streak for a Tigers pitcher since Doyle Alexander’s 28 from Sept. 4-19, 1987.

Before Alexander, Jack Morris had a streak of 31 straight from July 4-18, 1986.

... A’s outfielder Brandon Moss, on Porcello’s four-hit complete-game shutout Tuesday: “He pitched his game, and it was a great game.” Moss, by the way, had four hits Wednesday, including his 19th home run.

... J.D. Martinez (.345, seven home runs, 21 RBIs) and Anibal Sanchez (3-0, 2.79 ERA) were named Tigers player and pitcher of the month for June.

... Ausmus, comparing the speed in which the first half has progressed as a manager and a player: “It’s been much faster in this role than when I was a player, but I’m not really sure why. Maybe because I’ve got more going on. It definitely has gone faster, though.”

Torii Hunter connects for an RBI-single in the first, scoring Ian Kinsler. / Elizabeth Conley / Detroit News