NASHVILLE -- The Tennessee Titans have re-signed offensive lineman Kevin Matthews and have released tight end Visanthe Shiancoe. Both moves were announced Tuesday. The Titans had waived Matthews on Saturday when they promoted wide receiver Michael Preston from the practice squad. Matthews played 14 games and made two starts for the Titans in 2012. Matthews, the son of Hall of Famer and Titans offensive line coach Bruce Matthews, also appeared in three games and made one start for the Titans in 2010. The Titans had signed Shiancoe last week. He caught a pair of passes for 2 yards Sunday in a 51-28 loss to the Denver Broncos. Mats Hummels Jersey
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... as usual. Even with the salary cap being set lower than many general managers expected and hoped for at $69 million and whats considered a shallow pool of top-end players available, this unrestricted-free-agent period figures to follow the familiar script of teams bidding up prices to keep up with each other.DETROIT -- Max Scherzer and Brad Ausmus both knew early on Thursday afternoon that something special might be happening. Their reactions were slightly different. When Scherzer struck out eight Pittsburgh batters in the first three innings, Ausmus was thinking of two of the worst days of his playing career. "Ive been the victim of two 20-strikeout games, and when he started out that fast, I was starting to wonder if he could put up a huge total," said Ausmus, who faced Roger Clemens in his 1996 20-K game and Kerry Wood two years later. "He was making pitches that looked like the ones Kerry was throwing that day." Scherzer also knew a big number was possible, but he didnt care about records. "I was thinking about it, but not for the reason you probably think," he said. "When Im getting that many strikeouts early, it means Ive throwing all four of my pitches, Im getting hitters into the kill-zone counts and Im putting them away. When thats happening, I know Im probably going to have a good day." As it turned out, Scherzer had to settle for only 14 strikeouts in eight shutout innings, leading the Detroit Tigers to a 5-2 victory. "He pitched like a Cy Young winner," Pittsburgh manager Clint Hurdle said. "The volume of pitches that he can throw and command is impressive. I think theres 29 teams in this league that could find a spot for him at the top of their rotation." Scherzer (14-4) took another step toward a second straight American League Cy Young Award, holding Pittsburgh to three hits and two walks. Since June 22, Scherzer is 6-1 in 10 starts with a 1.78 ERA and 85 strikeouts as opposed to only 52 hits. Scherzers performance and a homer from J.D. Martinez gave the Tigers a much-needed sweep of the short two-game series and a split of the four games in the home-and-home series that started Monday in Pittsburgh. Francisco Liriano (3-9) took a tough loss for Pittsburgh, allowing two runs on three hits and four walks in six innings. He struck out nine, but wasnt able to match Scherzers brilliance. The game was a classic pitchers duel early, with Scherzer striking out 11 batters in the first five innings while Liriano hadnt allowed a hit through four. Martinez, though, changed things with a long homer off Liriano to start the fifth. Detroit posed a much bigger threat to Liriano in the next inning, loading the bases with one out. Torii Hunter struck out, but Liriano walked Martinez with his 99th pitch of the game to make it 2-0. That was enough for Scherzer, who cruised through eighth innings without much stress. "We needed a win, and our bullpen needed a break," Scherzer said. "So thiss was a huge game for us.ddddddddddddquot; The Tigers broke the game open in the eighth, scoring one run on a throwing error by Michael Martinez before Nick Castellanos added a two-run single. That became important when Gaby Sanchez hit a 2-run homer off Phil Coke in the ninth. TRAINERS ROOM Detroit: The Tigers had to make another roster move Thursday, thanks to the injuries sustained by Justin Verlander, Anibal Sanchez and Joakim Soria. Buck Farmer, who started Wednesdays game, was sent to Triple-A Toledo, while RHP Melvin Mercedes was recalled from the Mud Hens. Pittsburgh: Neil Walker has missed 11 of the last 12 games with back tightness, but Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said he isnt heading for the DL. Walker was on the on-deck circle as a pinch hitter when Thursdays game ended. SS Jordy Mercer left the game with tightness in his right forearm, and Hurdle didnt know if he would miss any time. UP NEXT Detroit: The Tigers welcome back recently traded Austin Jackson on Friday in the first of a three-game series with the Mariners. Jackson, who left in the deadline deal for David Price, will face Rick Porcello (13-7, 3.11), while James Paxton (2-0, 2.38) starts for Seattle. Pittsburgh: The Pirates head for the nations capital for a three-game weekend series against the Nationals. Charlie Morton (5-11, 3.62) starts for Pittsburgh in Fridays opener, while the Nationals will have Tanner Roark (11-7, 2.86) on the mound. NATHAN APOLOGIZES Tigers closer Joe Nathan apologized Tuesday for the Italian chin-flick gesture he aimed at the Comerica Park crowd Wednesday night. "I think both sides were frustrated," he said. "I was frustrated. Fans obviously were frustrated. I think for myself, I would apologize for that." Nathan, who has a 5.11 ERA, was booed by the fans during the ninth inning of Detroits win over the Pirates, and responded after the final out. COLD BATH Martinez got an ice bath after the game, but it wasnt because of his home run. He was the latest Tiger to take part in the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, a day after Joba Chamberlain took part. Martinezs dousing was provided by Castellanos, but Martinez immediately turned the tables, calling out Castellanos as the next Tigers player to get soaked for charity. Chamberlain was a little more daring, tagging Ausmus in his list. SNIDER VERSUS THE TIGERS Travis Snider was Pittsburghs biggest weapon in the home-and-home series with Detroit. He hit .467 (7-for-15) in the four games, with six of the seven hits going for extra bases. His leadoff double in the fourth provided one of the few scoring chances against Scherzer. 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