Infante has settled in at second base

The Sports Xchange
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--2B Omar Infante has given the Tigers the stability at second base they were looking for when it obtained him from Miami. There was a settling-in period as Infante got just two hits in his first 17 at-bats for the Tigers, but since then he's gone 22-for-61 (.361). He's given the club better defense than it had been getting from the other four players who were tried there.

--RHP Anibal Sanchez won't start again until Wednesday because manager Jim Leyland revamped his rotation to deal with two days off in a span of five days. Detroit was idle Thursday and will be off again Monday, but what Leyland has elected to do is push the struggling Sanchez back so he can keep RHP Doug Fister (Sunday) and Max Scherzer (Tuesday), both of whom are hot, pitching on regular rest. Sanchez, 1-3 with a 7.97 ERA since joining the Tigers, will have eight days off between starts.

--LF Quintin Berry stole his 16th base without being thrown out Wednesday in an infrequent start for the Tigers. Berry is the only player in the league with at least 15 steals who has not been caught stealing this season.

--RHP Justin Verlander can retake the major league strikeout lead Friday night when he starts against Baltimore. Verlander has 174 strikeouts this season but was passed by teammate RHP Max Scherzer, who fanned 10 in his start Wednesday to boost his total to 178.

--RHP Al Alburquerque seems to be getting closer to being ready to return to Detroit. Alburquerque, who had surgery to stabilize the tip of his right elbow last December, struck out five in 2 2/3 scoreless innings Wednesday night on a rehab assignment with Triple-A Toledo. That reduced his ERA to 3.18 in 5 2/3 innings. Alburquerque's wipeout slider made him a strikeout sensation as a middle-inning reliever for Detroit last season, something the Tigers need again.

BY THE NUMBERS
16 -- Stolen bases for LF Quintin Berry after his theft of second Wednesday at Minnesota. Berry is the only player in the league (minimum 15 stolen bases) not to have been caught stealing this season.

QUOTE TO NOTE
"He's just an animal. I think he's the best hitter in our league, as far as power the whole package, driving in runs, producer. I've said that for a few years, though. He's so dangerous. Just to watch him. He hit that ball (on the home run) like a left-hander hits it. The wind was blowing in from there, and he's just so strong. He seemed like he flicked it, but he's a really good baseball player." -- Minnesota manager Ron Gardenhire on 3B Miguel Cabrera after the Detroit slugger reached 30 home runs and 100 RBI for the season against the Twins in a three-game series earlier in the week.

Copyright (C) 2012 The Sports Xchange. All Rights Reserved.

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