Former Alabama Catcher Alex Avila Expected to Start for Tigers Tonight



Oct. 4, 2013

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - Former Alabama catcher Alex Avila is expected to be in the starting lineup for the Detroit Tigers when they open the 2013 MLB Playoffs tonight against the Oakland A's. The best of five series will get started at the Coliseum in Oakland, Calif., with first pitch scheduled for 8:37 PM CT.

Playing for the regular season first place American League Central Division Tigers, Avila appeared in 102 games during the season, posting a .227 batting average with 11 home runs and 47 RBI.

Avila is making his third straight appearance in the postseason with the Tigers. Avila's first postseason appearance came in 2011, when Detroit lost in the 2011 ALCS to the Texas Rangers. Avila and the Tigers made the playoffs again in 2012, advancing to the World Series, where the Tigers lost to the San Francisco Giants in four games. Over the last two seasons, Avila has appeared in 20 postseason games, with two home runs and three RBI.

In three seasons with the Crimson Tide, Avila played in 178 games with 173 as a starter. He posted a career .303 average with 36 home runs and 165 RBI when in an Alabama uniform. In 2008, his last season in Tuscaloosa, he had a .343 average with 17 HR and 62 RBI.

Avila is the only former Alabama player to have his team advance to the playoffs this season. The Crimson Tide currently has six players that saw action in Major League games in 2013. The list includes David Robertson (Yankees), Tommy Hunter (Orioles), Josh Rutledge (Rockies), Wade LeBlanc (Marlins) and Jimmy Nelson (Brewers).

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