Detroit Tigers (2002–2005)
Peña was involved in a three team deal on July 6, 2002. The Athletics sent Peña, a player to be named later (later named as Jeremy Bonderman), and Franklyn Germán to the Detroit Tigers. The New York Yankees sent Ted Lilly, John-Ford Griffin, and Jason Arnold to the Athletics. The Tigers sent Jeff Weaver to the Yankees and cash to the Athletics.
The Tigers had acquired Peña due to a season ending injury to designated hitter Dmitri Young and the first baseman at the time of the trade for the Tigers, Randall Simon, immediately became the Tigers' designated hitter following Peña's acquisition.
Peña made his Tigers' debut the next day against the Boston Red Sox, as he went 3–4 with 2 doubles and 2 RBIs. Peña played in 75 games for the Tigers in 2002 and batted .253 with 12 home runs and 36 RBIs. Overall he batted .242 with 19 home runs and 52 RBIs in 115 games. His 2002 season included a 12 game hitting streak from September 8–21, which tied teammate Omar Infante for the longest hitting streak for an American League rookie in 2002.
Peña played in his first full season in 2003 as the Tigers' everyday first baseman. On May 19, against the Cleveland Indians, he established career highs with 3 home runs and 7 RBIs. Peña also missed nearly a month in June when he suffered a left calf strain. He played in 131 games for the Tigers in 2003 and batted .248 with 18 home runs and 59 RBIs.
In 2004, Peña established career highs in games played (142), at bats (481), hits (116), doubles (22), home runs (27), runs scored (89), RBIs (82), total bases (227), stolen bases (7), walks (70), and strikeouts (146). Peña also batted .241 in 2004.
On May 27, 2004, against the Kansas City Royals, Peña matched a Tigers' nine-inning, single-game record with a career-high six hits. He became the fifth player in franchise history to do so and the first since Damion Easley on August 8, 2001, against the Texas Rangers. He batted in the eighth spot in the batting order and his six hits were the most from the eighth spot since Wilbert Robinson of the Baltimore Orioles collected seven hits on June 10, 1892 against St. Louis.
Peña began the 2005 season as the Tigers' starting first baseman. After playing in 40 games in which he batted .181 with 3 home runs and 14 RBIs, Peña was demoted to the Triple-A Toledo Mud Hens, where he played in 71 games for the Mud Hens and batted .311 with 12 home runs and 71 RBIs. Following an injury to shortstop Carlos Guillén, Peña was recalled on August 17. Following his recall, he hit 15 home runs in 38 games. Overall, he played in 79 games for the Tigers in 2005, and batted .235 with 18 home runs and 44 RBIs.
In Spring training during 2006, Peña batted .160 with 1 home run and 4 RBIs in 17 games for the Tigers, and the Tigers released him on March 26, 2006.
While with the Tigers, Peña hit the longest home run in Comerica Park, clearing the bleachers in right-center as it took one bounce and left the stadium. The home run was hit to the deepest part of the ballpark.
Famous quotes containing the word tigers:
“Aunt Jennifers tigers prance across a screen,
Bright topaz denizens of a world of green.”
—Adrienne Rich (b. 1929)