Polanco hopes to continue producing for his new team when the Tigers begin a three-game series with the Arizona Diamondbacks at Bank One Ballpark.
Detroit acquired Polanco from Philadelphia on June 8 in exchange for right-hander Ugueth Urbina. The second baseman has stepped in nicely, batting .380 with 11 runs scored in 12 games.
The Tigers are 8-4 with Polanco in the lineup. He has also apparently had a positive effect on shortstop Omar Infante, who has started the last five games in place of injured starter Carlos Guillen. Infante is batting .381 (8-for-21) with four runs scored in that span.
“I think he’s matured,” Detroit manager Alan Trammell said of Infante. “No player likes (being benched), but I told you he works hard. He never backed off. He was out there early, always moving around, always taking a lot of balls. From a manager’s perspective, that’s all we can ask.”
Guillen may be activated off the disabled list by Saturday.
Detroit missed a chance to complete a three-game sweep at Minnesota, suffering a 6-2 loss on Thursday. Chris Shelton homered and had three hits to lead the Tigers, who lost for only the second time in nine games.
The Tigers are 7-5 in interleague play this season. They opened by losing two of three at home to the Diamondbacks from May 20-22.
“I’ll take a win against Arizona as I will against anybody,” Trammell said. “And since they beat us two out of three, I’d like to beat them two out of three myself. I’d like to get back at them.”
Despite its success in that series, Arizona has struggled in interleague play with a 6-9 mark. The NL West Division is 25-47 against the AL this year.
“We haven’t had the best of times record-wise,” Arizona manager Bob Melvin said. “Really, nobody has in our division. So I would think everybody in our division will probably be happy to see it go. It’s nice to play interleague, but when it’s done, I don’t think anybody misses it.”
Diamondbacks starter Shawn Estes looks to pitch a third straight complete game. Estes pitched an eight-hitter in an 8-1 win at the Chicago White Sox on June 13 before scattering nine hits in a 3-2 loss at Cleveland on Sunday.
“I’m not happy with it,” said Estes about Sunday’s outing. “I feel good about what I’m doing, but not happy with how this worked out.”
The veteran left-hander is making his third career start against Detroit. Estes allowed one run and seven hits over 6 1-3 innings in a 3-2 loss in 11 innings to the Tigers on May 21.
Arizona completed a 4-6 road trip with a 7-2 win at San Francisco on Thursday. Troy Glaus homered and was one of six Diamondbacks with at least one RBI.