Notes: Rogers sure he'll regain control
All-Star starter was 10-3 with a 3.34 ERA before his slump
ST. PETERSBURG -- Even after the first game when he felt his control slip, Kenny Rogers' streak of futility had already lasted an outing too long. Now six starts later, the All-Star starter has gone 1-2 with a 9.29 ERA and is understandably frustrated, but not yet out of options.
"None of this is what we were seeing earlier, it's a bad streak," said Rogers, who before the slump was 10-3 with a 3.34 ERA. "I'm not going to give up trying, that's for sure. I'm sure there's always something else I can try to do. [Monday], I tried to change my arm a little bit, threw some different pitches here and there."
On Monday at least, different pitches weren't the answer, as Rogers surrendered seven runs (six earned) on five hits, two of them homers. The lefty has been around the Majors long enough, though -- 17 seasons, to be exact -- that he knows if he's patient this too shall pass.
"This has lasted longer than I've liked, that's for sure," he said. "[But] you've just got to ride it out. Take better turns, you get a few breaks here and there, and that's definitely the road you want to be on."
Tigers manager Jim Leyland agreed with Rogers, adding he doesn't think his pitcher has pitched that badly.
"[He's just missing] in some cases," Leyland said. "In some cases I think he gets a little frustrated when somebody lays off a tough pitch that he thought he made. I thought he was actually throwing the ball pretty good. I think he's going to be fine. We all stunk [on Monday], so you're not defending anybody, but he wasn't really good and we certainly didn't help him any.
"I believe he'll pitch good Saturday night."
All's well with the Mayor: If the excitement of Sean Casey's trade to Detroit had faded any by Tuesday, Casey certainly wasn't showing it. The new Tigers first baseman was beaming again at his locker before the second of four games at Tampa Bay, and he had good reason: He was in the lineup.
"I got to take a little bit of time to unwind and sit and watch the game last night and digest it all, so I'm ready to go now," said Casey, who was playing first base and hitting seventh on Tuesday night. "It's exciting to be here. I know [Detroit has] played so well and the atmosphere is great. Even when we were down 7-1, you just felt it in the dugout. I just felt it. It was like, 'We've got a chance to come back here.' You know with winning teams, you feel that kind of atmosphere."
Trouble down on the farm: The Tigers' Alvaro Diaz was among seven Minor League players suspended for violating the drug prevention and treatment program. Diaz, 18 and an outfielder for the Tigers organization in the Venezuelan Summer League, was suspended 50 games for not passing a test for performance-enhancing substances.
Joining him in the suspension are Edison Barrios and Juan Casas (Pirates), Jesus Granado (Phillies) and Alfredo Reyes, who was hit with 100 games following a second positive test.
Diaz is the first player in the Tigers organization to be suspended for performance-enhancing substances.
Did you know? Detroit's rookie pitchers have combined to go 24-7 with a 2.93 ERA this season, tops in the Majors by all clubs with at least 100 innings worked by rookies. Zach Miner, Jordan Tata, Justin Verlander and Joel Zumaya's 24 combined wins are the most by Detroit since 1977. The last time rookies combined to win 24 or more for the Tigers was 1955, when they won 27.
By the numbers: The Tigers are hitting .303 as a team after the All-Star break (189-for-595), with 30 doubles, three triples and 15 homers and 94 runs scored. The team's second-half batting average is fourth-best in the league.
He said it: "I'd have said, 'Put the filter back on your cigarette.'" --Leyland, when asked what he'd say to someone at the beginning of the season if they told him the Tigers would be 35 games over .500 come August
Up next: Detroit returns to Tropicana Field on Wednesday night for the third game of a four-game series. Left-hander Nate Robertson (10-6, 3.76 ERA) will oppose Rays righty Jae Seo (1-5, 5.94 ERA) in the 7:15 p.m. ET matchup.
Dawn Klemish is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.