July 29, 2014 at 1:00 am

Joakim Soria's task: Shake off rocky outing with Tigers

Detroit — He didn’t throw hard, but he has never been a power pitcher.

However, he’s also never been a pitcher who has pitched like he did on Tuesday night in his home debut as a Tiger.

Joakim Soria got lit up for four runs on six hits in 13 of the seventh inning in the Tigers’ 11-4 loss to the White Sox.

The crowd booed the way he pitched. But when it came time for them to boo him, if that’s what they wanted to do, as he left the field and dejectedly walked towards the Tigers’ dugout, there was a hardly a peep.

“Health-wise I felt good,” Soria said, “but it was an outing I have to shake off. This is baseball. It’s what I do.

“I’m trained to do what I do on the field, but today was one of those days that was. . .bad.

“But this kind of stuff doesn’t define my career and what I am. I’m going to try to get back on track and go from there.

“I’m not going to make any excuses. It seemed today that they were on every single pitch.”

Before the game, Soria spoke of how he’s always been impressed with the fans at Comerica Park.

“When you see all the stands full in a ballpark,” he said, “it means they’re excited about baseball.”

Even before his outing Tuesday night, Soria hadn’t always pitched his best at Comerica Park, where he had a 2-1 record, nine saves and 3.15 ERA as a visitor, but most of that ERA can be blamed on the 11.57 ERA he had a Comerica in 2007, his first season with the Kansas City Royals.

Since 2007, however, he had allowed only two runs in 28 innings at Comerica Park — which he’s more than ready to call his home ballpark.

“This is part of baseball,” he said. “You get traded, you have a new team, and now this is my new family.”

Third or fourth?

If you check the splits of Miguel Cabrera’s career, he has batted cleanup almost as much as he’s batted third.

But whenever he bats cleanup for the Tigers instead of third, the question “why?” must be asked.

“It has to do more with how (Rajai Davis, batting second) is doing against (White Sox starter Jose) Quintana,” manager Brad Ausmus said Tuesday. “It’s more of a matchup thing.”

At that point, Cabrera, sitting next to Ausmus at the start of the manager’s pregame media session in the dugout, started kidding with Ausmus.

“Miggy’s only hitting .309,” Cabrera said. “You gotta move the lineup. You gotta do something because he doesn’t do anything. So you gotta move different lineups so we can score some runs.”

And with that, the conversation turned to other topics.

Cabrera, by the way, went 2-for-4 as the Tigers’ cleanup hitter in the loss to the White Sox.

Dirks rehabbing?

“No,” Ausmus said. “It hasn’t happened yet. But I expect it to shortly.”

The outfielder still is recovering from back surgery which has kept him out all season. He hit .313 in six games while on a rehab assignment at Lakeland, but had to be shut down nearly two weeks ago because of inflammation.

He’ll resume his rehab assignment when the inflammation has fully cleared up, which it sounds like it nearly has.

Back from Cooperstown

Al Kaline said the weather for this year’s Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony last weekend was the best he’s encountered since he was inducted in 1980.

Plus it was “a really impressive induction class,” he said. “The crowd was over 48,000, the second-largest ever.”

Ausmus didn’t attend the ceremonies because he was in Anaheim, Calif. But all three managers inducted — Bobby Cox, Tony LaRussa and Joe Torre — meant something to him in his career.

“The thing that stands out to me (is) how classy all three of them are,” Ausmus said. “I played for Joe, so I have first-hand knowledge of how he ran a clubhouse — and I’ve learned some things from him as a result.

“I played against Bobby Cox’s teams for years — and one of the few mementos I’ve ever kept is that after my final game in Houston, Bobby sent a ball over to me, giving me a lot of compliments and paying me a lot respect.

“I didn’t keep a lot of stuff from my playing career, but I kept that — and Tony did something similar. After we beat the St. Louis Cardinals in the championship series of 2005, he sent over a hand-written note to me, congratulating me. That’s another thing I kept.”


New Tigers reliever Joakim Soria (right) sits in the dugout after giving up four runs on six hits in one-third of an inning Tuesday night against the White Sox. / Elizabeth Conley / Detroit News