Boesch pulled with sore thumb

The Tigers already knew they were going to be without Miguel Cabrera on Thursday due to paternity leave. They’ll now have to get through the series finale against the Rays without Brennan Boesch, who left Wednesday’s game with soreness in his previously injured right thumb.

Boesch had played through the injury for a week and a half after injuring it on the last road trip, but it had been an increasing concern in recent days. After three strikeouts in as many at-bats Wednesday, manager Jim Leyland made the decision to replace him in right field with Don Kelly once Alex Avila’s home run tied the game.

“His thumb’s sore,” Leyland said after the game. “It’s been bothering him. He’s not going to play tomorrow.”

Boesch has been struggling statistically in recent days. Though he’s 6-for-24 since returning from the injury, he has eight strikeouts in his last 18 at-bats. He only has one extra-base hit since his return, a double last week.

His absence likely means Magglio Ordonez will get his second start of the series.

If the thumb injury lingers, it’s a concern for the Tigers heading into the stretch. They’ve found offensive production batting Boesch second between speedy Austin Jackson and recent acquisition Delmon Young.

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