Tigers feel confident at home

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Tigers feel confident at home

DETROIT --- The Detroit Tigers may be down 2-0 in the World Series, but players have hardly lacked the confidence needed to overcome their early deficit.

Their cool -- even though they know 14 of the last 15 teams to win the first two games have gone on to a World Series title -- lies in their dominance at Comerica Park this season.

As tough as the task appears to be, Tigers players sounded confident on Friday afternoon they can rally in time to yet again save their season.

Detroit, which is perfect at home in the postseason, has won 54 of 85 games played at Comerica Park this season, including eight straight.

The World Series resumes at 5:07 p.m. on Saturday when Detroits Anibal Sanchez faces the Giants Ryan Vogelsong in Game 3 of the World Series.

Everybody is going to be relaxed, Sanchez said. We know we are home, we play really good here. Were going to keep doing the same. We need to make some runs. But tomorrow is going to be a different story. They won (at) home. We need to win at home.

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Sanchez should have added an extra really when he spoke about how well the Tigers play at home.

Even though Comerica Park has played as a pronounced pitchers park in years past, Detroit has excelled here offensively this season. The Tigers averaged 4.85 runs per game at home and boast a .278.342.451 slash line compared with 4.11 runs away from Comerica and a .258.327.395 line.

Triple crown winner Miguel Cabreras home and road splits were as significant as his teams. Of Cabreras 44 homers, 28 occurred in Detroit. Cabrera had 1.095 OPS at home compared with .913 on the road.

Home cooking might just be the remedy Tigers hitters are looking for after they produced only three runs and 10 hits in the first two games of the World Series. Thus far, Detroits offense is hitting .167 compared with the Giants .258 average.

Catcher Alex Avila believes the root cause is the teams level of comfort.

You get to sleep in your own bed, and youre just a little more familiar with your surroundings, a little bit easier to go through your routine Avila said. Thats probably the biggest thing, being able to go through your routine. Being comfortable allows you to have confidence. It definitely helps when people are not yelling that you suck.

Tigers center fielder Austin Jackson is excited about the prospect of fan energy being on the side of his team. Having witnessed the electric display put on by the Giants faithful at AT&T Park in the first two games of the series, Jackson cant wait to see what Detroit has in store for his club. The Tigers drew more than 3 million fans this season, an average of 37,383 per contest.

Its an unbelievable atmosphere, Jackson said. You feed off that, that fan energy. You feed off that, and its just unbelievable when you go out there and you can feel that the fans are with you.

Dan Hayes is the White Sox Insider for CSNChicago.com

Former top prospect Andy Marte dies from car accident in Dominican Republic

Former top prospect Andy Marte dies from car accident in Dominican Republic

Former major leaguer Andy Marte died early Sunday from a traffic accident in his native Dominican Republic.

Metropolitan traffic authorities say Marte died when the Mercedes Benz he was driving hit a house along a road between San Francisco de Macoris and Pimentel, about 95 miles (150 kilometers) north of the capital.

Marte, a 33-year-old infielder, played for several Major League teams, including Atlanta, Cleveland and Arizona, and was most recently playing in the Korean league.

Marte was playing in the Dominican winter league with the Aguilas Cibaenas team.

"We have awoken this Sunday with this sad news that we have lost a special being," club president Winston Llenas said in a statement about Marte.

The Associated Press contributed to this report

Santiago Casilla says he never received offer from Giants

Santiago Casilla says he never received offer from Giants

SAN FRANCISCO — Over the final month of his time with the Giants, it became clear that Santiago Casilla and the team would part ways. On Friday, Casilla confirmed that he never had the opportunity to return. 

On a conference call to announce a two-year deal with the Oakland A’s, Casilla said he “would have been happy to return to the Giants, but I never got an offer from them. I understood.”

Casilla said he had several opportunities to go elsewhere and close, mentioning the Milwaukee Brewers as one interested team. Casilla signed a two-year, $11 million deal with the A’s, who likely won’t need him to pitch in the ninth. The Brewers went on to bring in Neftali Feliz for one year and $5.35 million; he is expected to close. 

“I preferred to return to the Athletics because that’s where my career started,” Casilla said through interpreter Manolo Hernández Douen. “And I’m very excited.”

Casilla spent the first six years of his career with the A’s before crossing the bridge and becoming a key figure in three title runs. In seven seasons in San Francisco, he posted a 2.42 ERA and saved 123 games. Casilla had a 0.92 ERA in the postseason, but he was stripped of a prominent role in the weeks leading up to the 2016 playoffs. 

Casilla, 36, blew nine saves before being pulled from the ninth inning. He appeared just three times in the final 14 regular season games and just once in the playoffs. He did not take the mound in Game 4 of the NLDS, watching as five other relievers teamed up to give back a three-run lead. 

That moment stung Casilla, and it affected Bruce Bochy, too. The Giants struck quickly in December to bring Mark Melancon in as their new closer, but at the Winter Meetings, Bochy said he would welcome Casilla back in a setup role. 

“He’s a great team player (and) teammate,” Bochy said. “(I) certainly wouldn’t rule it out because he still has great stuff. And he had some hiccups there in that closing role, but I would take him anytime.”

As it turned out, that opportunity was never there for Casilla. The Giants didn’t make another move after the big deal with Melancon, and they’ll rely on younger arms to record most of the outs in the seventh and eighth. Casilla said he’s not bitter about the way it all ended. 

“I have left that in the past,” he said. “It’s a new year, it’s a new year. I have left this in the past.”