On Wednesday, Detroit manager Jim Leyland told reporters he hoped to increase Tuiasosopo’s playing time. That day, Tuiasasopo hit a two-run double as a pinch-hitter, raising his average to .338 in 71 at-bats with three homers and 17 runs batted in. He had a superb 1.029 OPS.
But on Thursday, with his name in the lineup, Tuiasosopo injured his rib while swinging before the game. He was scratched from the lineup, then placed on the 15-day disabled list Friday. Outfielder Avisail Garcia was called up from the minors to replace Tuiasosopo on the roster. The injury is being termed an intercostal strain.
Team triple crowns within range
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The Cardinals and Tigers each have a chance to become just the 10th team since 1900 to win a team triple crown, which entails leading their league in team batting, pitching and fielding.
Through Thursday, the Cardinals were first in the National League in batting (.277), first in earned-run average (3.20) and first in fielding percentage (.990). The Tigers led the AL in hitting (.281), were second in pitching (3.62 ERA) and third in fielding percentage (.990).
The last team to record a team triple crown? The 2001 Mariners, en route to an American League record 116 wins. They led the AL with a .288 average, 3.54 ERA and .986 fielding percentage, and were the first to lead in all three categories since the 1948 Cleveland Indians.
The current Mariners, by the way, reached the weekend ranked 27th in batting average, tied for 19th in ERA, and 10th in fielding percentage.
Notes and quotes
• The Orioles’ Manny Machado, who doesn’t turn 21 until next month, is having a truly staggering season in many respects, but especially when it come to hitting doubles.
Through Friday, he had 33 of them, eight more than anyone else in baseball. That put him on pace for 72. The 82-year-old record is 67 by Boston’s Earl Webb in 1931, when Webb was 33. Only six players have ever had more than 60 doubles in a season, most recently Joe Medwick and Charlie Gehringer, with 64 and 60, respectively, in 1936.
The youngest to reach 60 doubles was Hank Greenberg with 63 at age 23 in 1934. The most recent player to come closest to 60 doubles was Colorado’s Todd Helton, who finished 59 in 2000.
• George Brett, the Royals’ interim hitting coach, plans to meet at some point with general manager Dayton Moore to discuss his future in the job. But the players seem to want the Hall of Famer to stay.
“That’s what we’re all hoping,” first baseman Eric Hosmer told the Kansas City Star. “Just having George’s mentality in the dugout helps a lot. He’s a competitor out there.”
Brett took over on May 30, and the Royals went 13-7 in his first 20 games — even though the team batting average fell nine points.
Hosmer also had words of praise for former Mariners farm director and minor-league manager Pedro Grifol, who is helping Brett work with the hitters. “I think Pedro is one of the most intelligent hitting coaches I’ve ever been around,’’ Hosmer said.
Brett was non-commital when pressed by the Star about whether he planned to remain as hitting coach.
“It’s been all right,” he said. “We’ve won a lot of games. Baseball is always a lot of fun when you win.”
• Boston outfielder Jonny Gomes, on the struggles of Red Sox closer Andrew Bailey: “There are two players who won’t struggle in the league this year — the MVP and the Cy Young winner. Everyone else will have peaks and valleys.”
Both have spent time on the disabled list, Perez with a sore shoulder and Pestano with a sore elbow. Perez actually backed out of the WBC because of a sore shoulder in spring training. He struggled much of the season before landing on the DL with a new shoulder injury.
“I don’t think it helped,” manager Terry Francona told reporters, speaking of the WBC. “I’d tell him to do it again if he had the chance, because pitching for your country is an unbelievable honor. It’s nobody’s fault, but he wasn’t ready. That’s why we have spring training. Your body isn’t ready to pitch playoff innings in March.”