Zimmermann sheds the rust; Shane Greene activated

Chris McCosky
The Detroit News

Detroit — Jordan Zimmermann gladly accepted his eighth win of the season Friday, even though he didn’t get through the sixth inning of the Tigers’ 10-3 romp over the Chicago White Sox.

It was not, he’d be the first to admit, a vintage performance.

“Yeah, I will take it,” he said. “We got the win and that’s the only thing that matters. I would have liked to go longer, but, after 13 days off, I am sure I will feel it in the morning.”

It was Zimmermann’s first start since he strained his groin against Tampa Bay on May 22. The rust was obvious.

“I never really stepped on the gas 100 percent,” he said. “I was rusty a little. I wasn’t locating the entire night. I expect the next start to be a lot better.”

He allowed two runs and five hits. He gave up a run on three singles in the second, but bore down and got former Tiger Alex Avila to ground out with runners on first and second. He had a couple of balls hit through the box and off his feet, without damage, and he worked out of a mini-jam in the fourth.

“I don’t know if he ran into the wall or what there at the end, but he threw extremely well,” catcher James McCann said. “He made some big pitches when he had to. It looked to me like he was laboring in the sixth, though he will tell you different just because he’s a bulldog and there’s nothing he can’t do.

“But he made pitches when he needed to.”

He went to his third-best pitch, the curveball, to extricate himself from a couple of innings.

“It was good the last couple of innings,” he said. “With a couple of these guys I figured out the curve is a better choice than the slider and I stuck with it.”

Zimmermann was visibly peeved at himself for a pair of walks that led to his ouster in the sixth inning — after he had both hitters in two-strike counts. He wasn’t happy with the center-cut fastball that Jose Abreu knocked into the gap to cut the Tigers lead to 3-2, either, after Zimmermann had him in a 0-2 hole.

The inning would have gone worse for him had Jose Iglesias not made a brilliant play on a ball hit up the middle by J.B. Shuck.

The important thing, other than the win, is that the groin held up.

“It felt fine the whole time,” he said. “Obviously in the back of your mind, you had 13 days off with a groin injury, so you’re always wondering if the next pitch is going to be the pitch where you feel it again.

“But I didn’t feel anything.”

Greene is back

After the game, the Tigers announced that Shane Greene had been activated from the disabled list.

To make room, the Tigers sent reliever Buck Farmer back to Toledo.

Although Ausmus didn’t say it was official, it appears that Greene will work out of the bullpen — most likely as a late-inning set-up man, stepping in for the struggling Mark Lowe.

Twitter: @cmccosky