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For Tigers’ Greene, ‘stuff is there,’ but not results

Chris McCosky
The Detroit News

Detroit — Right-handed reliever Shane Greene remains a mystery.

His line this season says it all — six innings, six hits, six walks, six strikeouts.

“His stuff is there,” manager Brad Ausmus said Wednesday. “But the strikes aren’t there. We need strikes from him. He warms up fine, but when he gets into a game, he has trouble putting the ball where he wants.”

He has gone from being a late-inning option to working low-leverage situations. He entered the game in the seventh inning Tuesday with the Tigers leading by 11 runs — and he couldn’t finish the inning.

He gave up two hits and two walks and Ausmus had to use Alex Wilson to finish the inning.

“He struggled in late-inning situations this year so we tried to put him in lower-leverage spots so he can reel himself back in,” Ausmus said. “That hasn’t worked perfectly, either.”

From July 1 to Aug. 13 last season, Greene was virtually unhittable. He allowed just three runs in that stretch. But in his last 17 appearances of the season he allowed 20 runs in 18 innings. He was up and down this spring, as well.

Ausmus said he didn’t think there were any physical issues with Greene, citing again how good his stuff looks in bullpen sessions and when he’s warming up to come into a game.

“My gut says he will get past this and get on a roll here,” Ausmus said.

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Feeling better

Miguel Cabrera (groin) was on the field before the game doing infield drills with defensive coordinator Matt Martin. He’s also been taking swings in the cage.

It appears he’s on track to return Tuesday, when he is eligible to come off the 10-day disabled list.

“I’d be surprised if Miggy is longer than the 10 days,” Ausmus said. “Everything is pointing toward him feeling better and better every single day.”

If he continues to progress, he would be back for the final three games against the Indians.

Around the horn

Ausmus said he expects shortstop Jose Iglesias (concussion) to be in the lineup on Thursday. He has cleared the concussion protocol.

Justin Verlander, who was presented the Tigers Player of the Year award by the Baseball Writers Association of America before the game, worked on a slight mechanical tweak in his between-starts bullpens. He has given up 13 runs in his last nine innings over his last two starts. “He’ll be ready,” Ausmus said. “I am not the least bit worried about Ver.”

… A combined 55 batters reached base safely Tuesday night in the Tigers’ 19-9 rout of the Mariners. Per Elias, that hadn’t been done in a nine-inning game since 2008 when the Rockies and Marlins combined for 56 runners.

… Remember how the Tigers struggled against left-handed pitching last year? It’s been a little different this year. In the first 19 games, they led the American League with 10 home runs and a .460 slugging percentage against lefties.

… The White Sox have tentatively scheduled Mike Pelfrey, the former Tiger, to start here Friday night.

chris.mccosky@detroitnews.com

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