July 30th, 2010

Damon scratched from lineup

Johnny Damon’s reunion with Fenway fans in a Tigers uniform will have to wait. The former Red Sox star turned Detroit outfielder was scratched from Friday’s series opener with what the team called upper back spasms.

Damon was scheduled to return to left field, the area he manned for years before going to the Yankees, and bat third in the Tigers lineup. However, he was pulled just after batting practice. He’s considered day-to-day.

Damon’s return meant no day off for slumping off Brennan Boesch, whom manager Jim Leyland was hoping to sit for a night against Red Sox left-hander Jon Lester. Instead, not only was Boesch back in the lineup, he hit third. It marks the first time he has hit anywhere but fifth this year in a Tigers uniform.

That switch in itself might take a little pressure off of him. The Rays intentionally walked Cabrera to pitch to Boesch the previous three nights at Tampa Bay. All three situations came with runners at first and second in a one-run game in the seventh inning. Rays relievers retired Boesch all three times.

Friday: Tigers at Red Sox

After a cancelled flight in Tampa, a scramble through the airport in Atlanta and a crawl through traffic in Boston and wading through the crowd outside Fenway Park with my suitcase and my laptop, I’ve finally arrived at the park to find Jeff Frazier at DH and Johnny Damon playing left field, batting third. Not surprisingly, Damon’s experience with balls off the Green Monster played a role in that .Will Rhymes is in the second spot.

J.D. Drew was a late scratch from the Red Sox lineup. That leads to something you don’t see very often: A team’s starting outfielders all in the bottom third of its lineup.

TIGERS

  1. Jackson, CF
  2. Rhymes, 2B
  3. Damon, LF
  4. Cabrera, 1B
  5. Raburn, RF
  6. Peralta, 3B
  7. Frazier, DH
  8. Laird, C
  9. Worth, SS

P: Armando Galarraga

RED SOX

  1. Marco Scutaro, SS
  2. Jed Lowrie, 2B
  3. Kevin Youkilis, 1B
  4. David Ortiz, DH
  5. Victor Martinez, C
  6. Adrian Beltre, 3B
  7. Jeremy Hermida, RF
  8. Mike Cameron, CF
  9. Eric Patterson, LF

P: Jon Lester

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