|Tigers look for Candelario to provide spark against Rangers|
Jeimer Candelario is back in the Detroit Tigers' lineup, and manager Ron Gardenhire hopes the team finally will have some stability at third base.
Candelario was recalled from Triple-A Toledo on Wednesday and got two hits against the visiting Texas Rangers, raising his season average to .189. He is likely to get another start when the teams close out their three-game series on Thursday.
Detroit has lost six straight, including a 4-1 decision to the Rangers on Wednesday.
Candelario became a starter after being acquired from the Chicago Cubs in 2017. He showed a lot of promise early on but hit just .201 over the last four months of his first full season in the majors a year ago.
He started off slowly this season and was optioned to the minors in mid-May. Candelario was recalled on May 28 but was placed on the 10-day injured list a week later with left shoulder inflammation. After a brief rehab stint, he was optioned to Toledo.
Now he is getting another chance to show he's an everyday player.
"We need some offense, and hopefully he'll provide it," Gardenhire said. "It's nice to see him back up here. This is where he belongs. He should be in the big leagues. Now, I hope he stays."
Candelario hit 19 homers last season. He has nothing to prove at the minor league level, as he batted .345 with five homers and 24 RBIs in 21 games with the Mud Hens this season, including a four-hit game in his most recent stint.
"When you put in good work, not all the time it's going to pay off, but in the end, I think you're going to see it," Candelario said. "You put in a lot of good work, a lot of good things are going to happen."
Rookie right-hander Spencer Turnbull (3-7, 3.29 ERA) will start Thursday's matinee for the Tigers. He'll be seeking his first career victory at Comerica Park. He is 0-5 with a 4.89 ERA in nine starts in front of the home crowd. He has never faced the Rangers.
"Just being up here and learning how tough it is to compete every day is making him better with his stuff," Gardenhire said. "He's learned to be honest with himself and understand when he has a good day and a bad day. He's more accountable."
The Rangers' top home run threat, Joey Gallo, has gone 1-for-6 with three walks in two games since he was activated from the IL. He missed three weeks with a left oblique strain.
Gallo has played 46 of his 51 games in the outfield, splitting time in left and center. He doesn't want to be eased back into the lineup.
"I don't want to DH, no matter what," Gallo told MLB.com. "I feel fine. I proved that I could play the outfield right now."
Manager Chris Woodward met with Gallo before the series and agreed to keep Gallo in the outfield most of the time, including the all-important center field spot.
"If Delino (DeShields) is not playing, I'd rather Joey maintain his comfort of playing in center field," Woodward said. "I want him to be comfortable out there. I just don't think it's fair if I play him out there once a week. It's too hard of a position to just throw him out there once a week."
Texas' scheduled Thursday starter, 23-year-old right-hander Ariel Jurado (4-3, 4.44 ERA), has allowed 11 runs over nine innings in his past two starts. He gave up four runs on six hits in six innings to the Chicago White Sox in a no-decision on Friday.
He'll be facing the Tigers for the first time.
--Field Level Media