7/23/2014 4:10 P.M. ET
Looking to stay fresh, Hunter rests in finale
By Adam Lichtenstein / MLB.com
PHOENIX -- Torii Hunter knocked key hits in the first two games of the Tigers' Interleague series with the D-backs, but manager Brad Ausmus gave him a day off for the finale to help keep the veteran outfielder healthy.
"At this point in his career, he needs days," Ausmus said. "So a [day] game after a night game is a good time to do it."
Ausmus said he's been working this year to give Hunter, 39, time off. So far, Hunter has played in 83 of the Tigers' 97 games this season.
"I just think. … to have Torii around for the long haul, he's going to have to have days here and there," Ausmus said.
Hunter hit a home run in the Tigers' series-opening 4-3 win on Monday, and knocked a single to center field on Tuesday that scored two runs, which represented the tying and go-ahead scores in the eighth inning. The hit set the Tigers up for a victory, but the D-backs rallied in the bottom half of the inning.
Tucson native Kinsler relishes playing at Chase Field
PHOENIX -- The southern Arizona town of Tucson doesn't have a Major League franchise, so the D-backs are as close to a "hometown" team as it gets for Tigers second baseman Ian Kinsler.
Kinsler was born in Tucson, which is a little less than two hours from Phoenix, and was drafted by the D-backs out of high school and again after his first year of college at Central Arizona College.
Following his stint at the junior college ranks, Kinsler spent a season at Arizona State, located in Tempe, Ariz., -- a suburb of Phoenix.
"It's always nice to come back home," Kinsler said. "It's not technically home, but I have a ton of family here."
Kinsler said he's had a lot of ticket requests for the Tigers' three-game Interleague series with the D-backs, but this trip has been all business for the second baseman.
"I'm here to work," Kinsler said. "I've seen my parents and my financial guy's here -- I see him -- but [not] other than that."
Chase Field has certainly felt like a home park for Kinsler. Although road trips to Phoenix are rare as he has spent his entire career in the American League, Kinsler has hit .318 (7-for-22) in five games at Chase Field entering Wednesday.
"I found a couple holes," he said. "The first game was kind of a chopper up the middle, and then [Tuesday], I got one in between short and third … You find holes, you look good.
"[I'm] not necessarily hitting the ball that hard, but whatever works."
Martinez hampered by upper quad discomfort
PHOENIX -- Outfielder J.D. Martinez was out of the lineup for the rubber game against the D-backs on Wednesday due to an upper quad injury, manager Brad Ausmus said.
Martinez felt the injury after hitting a single in the top of the eighth inning of Tuesday's game.
"Running down, he just felt a little something," Ausmus said.
Ausmus said he didn't think the injury would keep Martinez out of the lineup long, adding that Martinez was available to pinch-hit.
"Nothing major; he didn't have to come out of the game, but I thought it'd be best to give him a day today," he said.
Rajai Davis took Martinez's spot in left field, and he hit second in the lineup.
"It extends the lineup a little bit," Ausmus said. "I can put [Miguel Cabrera] fourth, [Victor Martinez] fifth."
J.D. Martinez has been hitting especially well in July, batting .358 (24-for-67) this month with four home runs and 12 RBIs.
Adam Lichtenstein is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.