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A sometimes-irreverent look at Detroit's Boys of Summer, the Tigers, as they try to return to the top of the American League Central.

Monday, July 30, 2012

No more lineup variables

One of the most frequent (and misguided) complaints from fans about Detroit Tigers manager Jim Leyland are his ever-varying lineups, so much so that he — and everyone else involved, as well — gets tired of hearing about them.

There shouldn't be any complaints at the moment, as the Tigers' everyday lineup has stabilized since last week's trade, which brought second baseman Omar Infante over from the Miami Marlins. In the seven games since, including Monday's series opener at Boston, Leyland has varied his lineup just twice: on Thursday against the Indians, when Ramon Santiago started in place of Jhonny Peralta at shortstop, and Sunday, when the Tigers were facing lefty Brett Cecil.

Against the lefty, Quintin Berry sat in favor of Ryan Raburn, with Infante moving up to Berry's normal No. 2 spot, while Brennan Boesch dropped from sixth to eighth. Gerald Laird also spelled Alex Avila. Everything and everyone else has been static the whole week through.

Here's the lineup the Tigers will send out at Fenway Park tonight against Boston right-hander Clay Buchholz (8-3, 4.93 ERA):

DETROIT TIGERS (54-48, 2nd AL Central)
Austin Jackson, CF
Quintin Berry, LF
Miguel Cabrera, 3B
Prince Fielder, 1B
Delmon Young, DH
Brennan Boesch, RF
Jhonny Peralta, SS
Alex Avila, C
Omar Infante, 2B

Max Scherzer, RHP (10-5, 4.49 ERA)
Scherzer's been near-dominant in his last five starts, sporting a 4-0 record and a sub-3.00 ERA. The only aberration was his first start after the All-Star break, when he struggled at Baltimore, giving up four earned runs in five innings. He's had mixed results against the Red Sox, too, beating them 7-3 at Fenway on May 31 to cap a 4-0 month, but he was lit up for seven earned runs on eight hits in 2 2/3 innings of work in his season debut at Comerica on April 8.


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