Kansas City, Mo. — The Tigers went into Thursday’s game looking to avoid their longest losing streak (10 games) since September of 2003 and they did so with fewer bullets in the chamber.
Ian Kinsler was given the night off. Miguel Cabrera (back), Mikie Mahtook (groin) and Jeimer Candelario (left wrist) were out of the lineup.
“Holy crap,” was manager Brad Ausmus’ initial assessment.
Jose Iglesias hit leadoff. Nick Castellanos, James McCann (DH) and John Hicks (first base) were the three-four-five hitters. Bryan Holaday caught. Andrew Romine (third base), Alex Presley and JaCoby Jones were at the bottom of the order.
A far cry from Kinsler, Castellanos, Justin Upton, Cabrera, J.D. Martinez and Victor Martinez.
Candelario, who had two hits Wednesday night and knocked in three runs, has been playing through soreness in his left wrist for a few games. It got to the point Wednesday that he couldn’t swing the bat hitting right-handed.
Thus, he was not in the lineup against Royals’ left-hander Danny Duffy.
“It’s a little painful,” Candelario said. “It’s been bothering me a little bit. I came in today and had treatment.”
X-rays were negative and Ausmus said Candelario, a switch-hitter, would continue to play against right-handed pitching. Candelario said he would be available to pinch-hit left-handed.
“You want to play and help the team win and try to finish strong,” he said. “I will be in there tomorrow for sure.”
Candelario, acquired from the Cubs for Alex Avila and Justin Wilson, has produced at least one hit in eight of the last 10 games and he’s reached safely in 22 of 24. In those games, he hit .347 with a .949 OPS, with seven doubles, two home runs, 12 RBIs and 15 runs scored.
“I’m not sure exactly when he injured the wrist,” Ausmus said. “But you could see when he swung the bat that it was bothering him.”