Tigers fire pitching coach Rick Knapp

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After beating the Giants 6-3 behind a strong outing from Rick Porcello, the Tigers terminated pitching coach Rick Knapp on Sunday, replacing him with bullpen coach Jeff Jones.

Knapp had spent 2 1/2 season as Detroit’s pitching coach after replacing the fired Chuck Hernandez.

The Tigers are 45-40, leaving them just a half-game back of Cleveland in the AL Central, and they just had both Justin Verlander and Jose Valverde named to the AL All-Star team, but they do rank 12th in the AL with a 4.40 ERA, leaving them ahead of only the Orioles and Royals.  Verlander is the team’s only starter with a sub-4.00 ERA.

Max Scherzer’s inconsistency and the lack of development from former first-round picks Porcello and Ryan Perry could have been factors in the dismissal.  Scherzer is 9-4 this season, but his ERA stands at 4.90 following another poor outing Saturday.  Porcello is at 4.96.  Perry, who was drafted with expectations that he’d emerge as a closer down the line, has an 8.20 ERA in 18 2/3 innings this season.

Indians’ Kluber has cast removed, making progress

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CLEVELAND (AP) Indians ace Corey Kluber had the hard cast protecting his broken right arm removed and the two-time Cy Young winner is healing as hoped.

Kluber underwent imaging texts Thursday, which showed that his ulna is mending properly. Cleveland manager Terry Francona said Kluber can begin range of motion and that he will be re-examined in two weeks.

The right-hander broke his arm when he was struck flush by a line drive hit by Miami’s Brian Anderson on May 1. At the time, the Indians said surgery wasn’t needed, and Francona said the medical staff told him Kluber was having “expected healing.”

Kluber has been fitted with a protective brace. He said it was a relief to have the cast off and is excited that he “can do a lot more now.”

The 33-year-old ran sprints in the outfield before the series opener against Tampa Bay.

Kluber won 20 games last season and at least 18 in each of the past three seasons. He is 2-3 with a 5.80 ERA in seven starts this year.

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