July 9, 2014 at 2:45 pm

Stats show Tigers were hitting ball hard even before Tuesday's offensive explosion

The Tigers' Austin Jackson congratulates Nick Castellanos after Castellanos scores on a single by Rajai Davis in the third inning Tuesday, one of 14 runs scored by the Tigers. (Robin Buckson / Detroit News)

Detroit — Fans might’ve been down on the Tigers after Sunday’s loss, a third straight to the Rays after winning the opening game of the series.

But Tigers players, they weren’t sweating — particularly the hitters.

While they only scored three runs on seven hits off Rays ace David Price, the swings were better than that. Statistically. Torii Hunter even shared the numbers.

“We had 19 hard-hit balls and 10 lineouts,” Hunter said. “That game could’ve went totally different when David Price pitched on Sunday, but it didn’t.

“(Tuesday), we hit the ball the same way and this time we got hits.”

“Baseball,” Hunter added, cracking up, “sucks!”

The Tigers racked up a season-high 14 runs on 20 hits in Tuesday’s rout of the Dodgers, half of the hits coming off another tough left-hander, Hyun-jin Ryu.

Many of the hits weren’t hit that hard, but they found grass, either via a seeing-eye single through the infield or soft loopers that landed just in front of Dodgers outfielders.

All that, two days after some Tigers smashes went right to the gloves of the Rays.

“It’s a crazy game, I’m telling you,” said Hunter, 2-for-4 on Sunday against the Rays and 3-for-4 on Tuesday against the Dodgers. “Off Price, it was unbelievable.

“Baseball hates players. We just gotta try to dominate it and overcome it. It’s like a lion. You’re just trying to tame it.”

All the good swings are impressive, seeing as designated hitter Victor Martinez (side) remains out of the lineup, and Miguel Cabrera got his first day off of the year Wednesday.

tpaul@detroitnews.com
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