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How Tigers must turn it around

Updated: June 7, 2012, 12:05 PM ET
By Buster Olney

The Detroit Tigers are now six games below .500 after a muffed fly ball led to a loss to the Cleveland Indians on Wednesday night. Detroit is six games behind the Chicago White Sox and a half-game ahead of the Kansas City Royals.

If anybody told you they saw this coming, well, attach a lie-detector test to them and aim a bright light into their eyes. The Tigers ran away with the AL Central last year, they looked great in spring training, and they were viewed as the most prohibitive favorite of any team in the majors after spending $214 million to sign Prince Fielder.

But the Tigers just keep losing, and losing ugly. Detroit ranks 25th in ERA, at 4.26, and shockingly the Tigers rank 15th in runs scored -- tying with the Philadelphia Phillies in that category.

That's worth repeating: The Tigers -- with Miguel Cabrera and Fielder and Alex Avila and the rest of what was expected to be a very deep lineup -- have scored exactly the same number of runs as the Phillies.

But now the Tigers are faced with the challenge of digging themselves out of this early-season hole, and the question that manager Jim Leyland must be asking himself is: How?


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