Ex-Tigers Marte, Valdez haunt former team in series finale
Detroit -- A couple of ex-Tigers enjoyed themselves immensely at their old employer’s expense Sunday.
Angels third baseman Jefry Marte, who played 33 games with the Tigers last season, hit a two-run home run off Anibal Sanchez to break a scoreless tie in the fifth. The Angels went on to a 5-0 triumph.
And right-handed reliever Jose Valdez, who made seven appearances for the Tigers last season and was designated for assignment in June, pitched a scoreless eighth inning.
“Of course, that's a team that I've been (with) before, so I try to do my best,” Marte said. “I try to do my best every game, but when you play against a team that you were with before, that's something exciting.”
It was Marte’s 10th homer of the season and the second he’s hit off Sanchez.
“He’s a strong man and he put a really good swing on that fastball away,” Sanchez said. “I think he was waiting for it and I put it in the power zone for him.”
Valdez, who was called up by the Tigers for one game earlier this year and never used, celebrated wildly after he got Miguel Cabrera to bounce softly back to him for the final out. He spun around and pumped his fist.
Cabrera stared at him, incredulously.
Ausmus was asked after the listless 5-0 loss if he was surprised his team didn’t play with more fire after having two players and two coaches ejected Saturday night.
“No,” he said. “These guys are taught and trained to put yesterday behind them. They’re taught to not hold grudges, because they can’t. If they do, it ends up costing them their job.”
He said there was no correlation between the events of Saturday night and their performance Sunday.
“If anything sucks the life out of a team, it may be a day game after a night game,” he said. “But not because of anything that happened the night before with the umpires.”
Around the horn
Right-hander Mike Pelfrey will make his first of probably two rehab starts Monday with Toledo. He is expected to throw between 40-45 pitches for the Mud Hens at Indianapolis.
…Right-hander Jordan Zimmermann will make his second of three rehab starts for the Hens at Indianapolis on Wednesday. He is expected to throw 60 pitches.
…Sanchez hit Kole Calhoun on the toe with a 1-2 pitch leading off the fourth inning. Then he promptly picked him off. It was his first pickoff since July 11, 2014 when he caught Indians Salvador Perez napping.