Tigers hope back-to-back wins are fresh start

Tigers hope back-to-back wins are fresh start

CLEVELAND -- The message was written at the top of the whiteboard in the Tigers' clubhouse, so that players could see it on their way to their locker after Monday night's 8-5 win over the Indians:

2-0
92 to go

Cast your Esurance All-Star ballot for #ASGWorthy Tigers players

It's a small sample size, two games since the Tigers dropped to .500 with Saturday's loss to the Yankees. But it's also a fresh start.

"We got down to .500," catcher James McCann said. "We understand it's a long season, and you can take sample sizes all you want, but at the end of the day it's basically a 94-game season. ...

"Yeah, I guess you could call it a reset button."

It came out of maybe the low point of the season, a 14-3 loss to the Yankees in which the Tigers gave up a season high in runs, lost by their second-largest margin of the year, and turned to utility infielder Josh Wilson to pitch the eighth inning. It was then that Victor Martinez talked about the team needing something to get going or risk going nowhere.

V-Mart's two-run single

The Tigers have operated all season under the idea that guys would perform to their track records over the long haul. They still believe that, but they're also now deep enough into the season that this year's numbers are adding up. If they're going to change, it has to come soon.

Offensively, they've changed lately.

"It's a team outlook, understanding that this is a good ballclub," McCann said.

Martinez, who returned to action last Friday, was asked after Monday's win if they had found a spark.

"We have a long way to go," Martinez said. "We still have a lot of time left. Anything can be a spark. Anything. If this is going to be a good sign for a turnaround, I mean, we're 2-0, 20 runs last two games. I guess it's a good sign.

Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. Read Beck's Blog, follow him on Twitter @beckjason and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.