Detroit — Did you notice the reading on the thermometer rising?
Did you notice the Tigers' offensive production rising?
The two things might not be totally unrelated.
After hitting a cold spell — during a cold spell — the Tigers bats finally woke up during Sunday's 8-6 victory over the Indians.
The Tigers' offense was on an absolute rampage earlier this season, when they started 6-0, but it's scuffled mostly since.
The Tigers scored seven runs or more five of their first six games, but this was just the second time they've done that in 13 games since. They had 10 hits or more in each of their first six games, but this was just the fourth time they've done that in 13 games since.
"We have guys that when you get on base, we make you pay," said Rajai Davis, who had a triple and two singles before leaving in the ninth inning with a groin injury. (He's day-to-day.) "We have a bunch of weapons, RBI guys. They're comfortable with guys on base. That's advantage us."
Of course, it wasn't advantage Tigers much of the 10-game home stand.
With temperatures in the 30s and 40s for many of the games, a lineup filled with Cubans, Venezuelans and guys from Miami went silent. A lot.
That was especially true late in games.
The Tigers scored two runs in the first inning Sunday, giving them 21 in first innings this season — but, at that point, they'd scored only 63, total, in the other eighth innings. Twice during the Yankees series, they scored in the first inning, but never again.
Not this time.
The Tigers added on runs in the third, fifth, sixth and eighth innings — important insurance runs for a game that ended up close.
"Always important, continue to add runs," said Ian Kinsler, who had multiple hits for the third game in a row. "Score early, score often and just continue to try and build on that."
Davis not concerned
It was a bit alarming, Davis leaving the game after singling in the ninth inning.
It was announced as a groin injury, not ideal news for a guy who makes his living with his legs. But after the game, Davis was moving fine and said he didn't think it was that serious.
He took himself right out of the game, knowing that pinch runner Anthony Gose would be in better shape to steal a base, which he did.
"It just kind of tightened," Davis said. "I wasn't running like I was capable of running.
"The bigger picture is what I was looking at."
Davis has been a part-time player this season, but with Gose scuffling, Davis played the last two games — and was running all over the place, with six hits and three stolen bases in the two days.
He said he thinks the extra running around might've caused him to tighten up.
In any event, Davis hopes to be in the lineup Monday against Twins left-hander Tommy Milone. He said this is nothing like the mid-section injury that hampered him last postseason.
"No, no, I couldn't even walk then," Davis said. "Get some rest and recover 100 percent, is what I expect."
J.D. makes 'em pay
The Indians intentionally walked five batters in the three game series — Miguel Cabrera three times Saturday, and Victor Martinez and Yoenis Cespedes on Sunday.
The Martinez intentional walk in the fifth inning was to load the bases with one out for J.D. Martinez, who, his previous at-bat, had grounded into a double play.
That's what the Indians were hoping for again, and J.D. Martinez knew it. But he sure wasn't offended that the Indians walked Victor Martinez to get to him.
"I like it," J.D. Martinez said, smiling. "I don't mind coming up with the bases loaded. I wish I could come up every time with the bases loaded."
The Indians had been throwing off-speed pitch after off-speed pitch to J.D. Martinez his first nine times up to bat this series, limiting him to one hit. This time, he laid off two low sliders, forcing Indians starter Carlos Carrasco (2-2) to pour one in — and Martinez drilled it for a two-run double down the third-base line to turn a one-run lead into a three-run lead.
Cabrera no Indians favorite
Cabrera likes Indians pitching. Like a lot.
On Sunday, he hit a long, two-run homer to right field in the sixth inning, and then followed that up with a big sacrifice fly in the eighth.
He finished with three more hits, giving him 15 in six games against the Indians this season.
All three of his home runs are against Cleveland.
"I know they don't like him," Tigers starter Kyle Lobstein said, smiling.
And now you understand why Indians manager Terry Francona will walk him every chance he gets.
Around the horn
Tigers catcher James McCann had a big leadoff bunt single in the eighth inning, leading to the Tigers final run. Bunting is something he worked on during spring training, if the third baseman is playing back — as Lonnie Chisenhall was. Third-base coach Dave Clark put the seed in his mind.
"If they're gonna give it to you, then you gotta take it," McCann said.
... Nick Castellanos has been scuffling since his nine-game hitting streak ended. He had a homer Friday, but otherwise was hitless in the series. He had three swinging strikeouts Sunday.
"He'll be fine," manager Brad Ausmus said. "Nick's very confident in his hitting."
... Ex-Tiger Ryan Raburn had a double and a single, and just missed a home run for the Indians. He's hitting .385 in 11 games.
... The Indians lost a challenge in the first inning, when the call that Raburn was out trying to advance to third was upheld.
... Carrasco's career ERA is 7.13 against the Tigers, 3.89 against the rest of baseball.
On deck: Twins
Series: Three games, Monday-Wednesday, Target Field, Minneapolis
First pitch: 8:10 p.m. Monday-Tuesday, 1:10 Wednesday
TV/radio: Monday on FSD-Plus, Tuesday-Wednesday on FSD/Monday on 1270, Tuesday-Wednesday on 97.1
Series probables: Monday — LHP David Price (1-1, 3.28) vs. LHP Tommy Milone (2-0, 3.38); Tuesday — RHP Anibal Sanchez (1-2, 5.96) vs. RHP Mike Pelfrey (1-0, 2.65); Wednesday — RHP Shane Greene (3-1, 3.00) vs. RHP Phil Hughes (0-4, 4.39)
■Price, Tigers: He's trying to forget about his outing against the Yankees last week, when he didn't even survive the third inning. He beat the Twins on Opening Day in Detroit, with 82/3 scoreless innings.
■Milone, Twins: He came over in a trade with the A's last summer, and has the potential to provide this rotation a boost, if he can stay healthy. He's never lost to the Tigers, in five career starts.