6/29/2014 9:59 P.M. ET
Jackson returns to top of Tigers' order
By Mike Vernon / MLB.com
HOUSTON -- For at least one day, Tigers center fielder Austin Jackson was back in the leadoff spot.
Jackson's played 557 games batting leadoff for the Tigers, but he had only hit first once this season prior to Sunday's series finale with the Astros at Minute Maid Park. For his career, Jackson's average is .281 atop the order.
Manager Brad Ausmus said he would consider leaving him in the role if the fit looked good.
"Well, he's done it before," Ausmus said. "I hope he goes 3-for-4 and I have to end up leaving him in there and he keeps hitting."
Jackson went 0-for-5 with four strikeouts.
Jackson has struggled this year for the Tigers, batting .244 primarily as the Tigers' fifth, sixth or seventh hitter. He has 29 RBIs hitting behind the likes of Miguel Cabrera and Victor Martinez.
He batted first exclusively last year, when his average declined to .272, down from .300 in 2012.
Ausmus said the move to put Jackson back at leadoff is to simply try to get his bat going again.
"He's still having good at-bats, but the hits aren't always falling," Ausmus said. "Hopefully we change his luck."
Another lineup change for the Tigers was the absence of second baseman Ian Kinsler. In the midst of his hitting streak and on the morning after his game-winning, ninth-inning home run, Kinsler was out of the starting lineup.
He struck out in an eighth-inning pinch-hit appearance, ending his career-high streak of seven games with multiple hits. He was the first Tigers player to have a streak that long in one season since Frank Bolling in 1960.
"When you have a bad game you want to come back the next day and atone for it," Ausmus said. "When you have a good game or you do something well, it's easier to sit there and kind of mentally shut down and just watch the game."
Dirks slowed in rehab from back surgery
HOUSTON -- Tigers outfielder Andy Dirks has had to back off a little bit from his baseball activities recently, as he works to return from March back surgery because he's felt some discomfort.
"I don't know if I'd call it a setback, he just had some discomfort," Ausmus said. "It's not like he stopped doing stuff, he just eased off. He still ran the bases he just ran them lighter. He still threw, he just threw lighter."
Ausmus also said that Joel Hanrahan is playing catch, but is not back on the mound yet as he returns from 2013 Tommy John surgery.
Ian Krol threw his first bullpen session Saturday as he works his way back from left shoulder inflammation.
Miggy poised to be an All-Star terror
HOUSTON -- Miguel Cabrera's firm position as the American League vote leader for the All-Star Game means trouble beyond the obvious for the National League.
Of course, Cabrera gives all of his opponent's trouble, but he's had a particular amount of success at Target Field, the site of the 2014 Midsummer Classic. Cabrera is hitting .345 with six homers and 33 RBIs in his 38 games at the Twins' home stadium.
Fans can cast their votes for starters at MLB.com -- online or on a mobile device -- using the 2014 All-Star Game MLB.com Ballot Sponsored by Experian until Thursday, July 3, at 11:59 p.m. ET. The 2014 All-Star Game will be played at Target Field on Tuesday, July 15 on FOX.
Mike Vernon is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.