Detroit — Tigers shortstop Jose Iglesias made another five-star defensive play Thursday night in Boston, taking a base hit away from Andrew Benintendi.
Iglesias was shifted to the second-base side of the diamond, and still had to go a few quick steps to his left and dive. He corralled the ball, spun on his knees and threw a seed to first base for the out.
“I had only seen him play a handful of games at shortstop against the teams I’d managed,” manager Ron Gardenhire said. “Getting to watch him every day, he’s pretty good. He’s spectacular, as a matter of fact.”
Iglesias has also been producing with the bat. He had two hits and an RBI Thursday and is hitting .310 (22-for-71) over his last 22 games.
“Offensively, he’s really focused,” Gardenhire said. “He knows what’s at stake for him. It’s a free agent year for him. But he wants to help this team. He enjoys this team and he’s pretty locked in. It’s fun to watch.”
Nobody would say exactly what the bet was — “a friendly wager,” was all anyone would say — but Zac Reininger lost it.
His flowing dark hair was buzzed, except for a modified, stringy rat tail in the back — courtesy of bullpen mate Alex Wilson.
“It was probably Willie,” Gardenhire said. “It’s got to be a (Texas A&M) Aggie. There’s no way anybody else but an Aggie would do something like that. And a guy who could’ve been a (Texas) Longhorn kind of bit on it. Unbelievable.”
Reininger, who grew up in the San Antonio area, was going to go to Texas before the Tigers drafted him in the eighth round in 2013.
Around the horn
Daniel Stumpf (ulnar nerve irritation) threw long toss out to about 90 feet before the game Friday. He could be throwing off the mound soon.
… Francisco Liriano (hamstring strain) threw a light bullpen session. He is expected to pitch a simulated game early next week in advance of at least one rehab outing at Toledo.
... Tigers No. 1 prospect, right-handed pitcher Franklin Perez, who has been out with a lat strain, will throw off a mound on Tuesday. He is expected to throw between 30-35 pitches in Lakeland.
Indians at Tigers
First pitch: 4:10 p.m., Saturday
TV/radio: FSD, 97.1
RHP Mike Clevinger (4-2, 3.36), Indians: He’s a reverse-split guy. Right-handed hitters have more success against him than lefties — .261-.220 batting average and .418-.341 slugging. Five of the six homers he’s allowed were hit by right-handed hitters. Still, his secondary pitches have been effective. Opponents are hitting .130 off his hard (88 mph) change-up, .206 off his slow (80 mph) slider and .172 off his curveball.
RHP Mike Fiers (5-3, 4.33), Tigers: He beat the Yankees in his last start, striking out Aaron Judge three times, twice looking. His six strikeouts (in 5.2 innings) tied his season high. Still, as he does, he scattered six hits, walked two and hit another. Ten percent of balls put in play off him are hit with an exit velocity of 95 mph or more (Statcast) and opponents are slugging .510 against him. But, he holds hitters to a .229 average with runners in scoring position.