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Tigers general manager Al Avila explains the trade of J.D. Martinez to the Diamondbacks and describes the play of the three prospects the Tigers acquired in return on July 18 in Kansas City.
Anthony Fenech, Detroit Free Press

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Michael Fulmer figures he’ll be wearing a couple jerseys on Thursday. It has nothing to do with trade speculation though. 

Thursday’s forecast for Kansas City, according to weather.com, calls for a high of 100 degrees and low of 81.

Fulmer said it was about 130 degrees on the turf when he threw his bullpen Monday at Kauffman Stadium. “I’m sure I’ll go through three or four jerseys tomorrow,” Fulmer said of Thursday’s start.  

Fulmer said there aren’t any tricks for trying to keep his hands dry. “You just have to kind of deal with it,” Fulmer said, adding that’s partly why he changes jerseys throughout the game. 

“I probably sweat the most on the team, honestly,” Fulmer said. 

Read more:

Tigers should (carefully) consider trading All-Star Michael Fulmer

Did Tigers get enough for J.D. Martinez? Scouts sound off

He’s not unfamiliar with pitching in the heat though. Fulmer (6 feet 3, 210 pounds) grew up in Oklahoma. 

“Back in high school it was like this, where I was playing every day,” Fulmer said. “I was kind of used to it.”

The National Weather Service issued an excessive heat warning that remains in effect until Saturday. The heat index is supposed to be between 105 and 100 degrees each afternoon during the excessive heat warning. 

Fulmer said his start last year in Texas was pretty hot. He wouldn’t mind another performance like that one, where he allowed four hits in a complete game shutout. He didn’t allow a walk and struck out nine in a 7-0 win.

“I made it my goal to stay out there for as little amount of time as possible,” Fulmer said. “I ended up going nine innings. I still went out there quite a bit, but my time out there wasn’t very long. 

“So I’m going to try and do that same thing tomorrow.”

Fulmer has won each of his past four starts and has gone at least eight innings in three of those games. 

Fulmer said he has told pitching coach Rich Dubee whether he goes three innings or nine innings, “I’m still going to feel like crap the next day.

“That’s why you get four days to recover,” Fulmer said with a laugh. 

Fulmer is among the American League leaders in several categories. Entering Thursday, he’s third in WHIP (1.067), tied for fourth in wins (10) and fifth in ERA (3.06). 

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“Obviously there’s a ton of stud pitchers in the American League right now,” Fulmer said. 

Fulmer said it’s nice to be mentioned as a possible Cy Young candidate, but “I gotta work on myself first.”

As for what he’s focused on between starts recently, he said: “Just making sure you’re ready every fifth day.”

Fulmer said Dubee asked him how he was feeling Wednesday. 

“The four days between my start, don’t feel so good,” Fulmer said. “But every fifth day you better know I’ll be able to take the ball.”

For starters: Tigers manager Brad Ausmus confirmed lefty Matt Boyd, who had a quality start in Tuesday’s 9-3 win, will start on Sunday (2:10 p.m., Fox Sports Detroit) in Minnesota against the Twins. Fellow lefty Daniel Norris struggled with command in a rehab start Tuesday for the Toledo Mud Hens. Ausmus said Wednesday afternoon Norris would likely make another rehab start. Ausmus said Norris had a quad issue when he went to cover first but remained in the game. Norris allowed five runs (four earned) on three hits and two walks over three innings at Pawtucket. He struck out four. 

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Contact George Sipple: gsipple@freepress.com. Follow him on Twitter @georgesipple.

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