Thursday’s lineups: Tigers (with Kelly) at Twins
Don Kelly becomes the first player off the Tigers bench to get a start. Dirks was one of two Tigers starters hitless after two games, joining Victor Martinez. Jim Leyland said this morning that if he’s starting Kelly today because it’s his one chance this week to get him some at-bats and try to keep his bat somewhat fresh. Leyland will start his regular lineup for the home opener Friday.
“That’s a no-brainer,” Leyland said. “Dirks is gonna play tomorrow and the next day, and you’ve got a left-hander Sunday, so now [Kelly] will be sitting too long [otherwise]. Dirks is fine. That’s just that you want to get him in there.”
Leyland decided to keep the batting order the same. If he wanted to keep his lefty-righty sequence the same, his one option would’ve been to move Alex Avila up to sixth and slot Kelly eighth.
For comparison’s sake, Kelly started in one of the Tigers’ first 12 games last year. Not sure if this marks any change, but it wouldn’t be a surprise if Leyland tried to mix in Kelly and Ramon Santiago every so often early to try to keep some rust off.
The Twins lineup has one change, with Jamey Carroll starting in place of Brian Dozier, who is 3-for-5 with a home run and four RBIs off Rick Porcello.
- Austin Jackson, CF (1-for-2 off Mike Pelfrey)
- Torii Hunter, RF (2-for-6, double off Pelfrey)
- Miguel Cabrera, 3B (2-for-8, 4 walks off Pelfrey)
- Prince Fielder, 1B (5-for-11, double, HR, 5 RBIs off Pelfrey)
- Victor Martinez, DH (1-for-2, double, walk off Pelfrey)
- Don Kelly, LF (0-for-2, walk off Pelfrey)
- Jhonny Peralta, SS (1-for-2, walk off Pelfrey)
- Alex Avila, C (1-for-2 off Pelfrey)
- Omar Infante, 2B (15-for-28, triple, 3 RBIs off Pelfrey)
P: Rick Porcello
- Aaron Hicks, CF
- Joe Mauer, C (6-for-24, 3 doubles, 3 RBIs off Porcello)
- Josh Willingham, LF (5-for-8, 2 doubles, 2 RBIs off Porcello)
- Justin Morneau, 1B (4-for-23, 2 doubles, HR, 4 RBIs off Porcello)
- Ryan Doumit, DH (4-for-7, 2 doubles off Porcello)
- Trevor Plouffe, 3B (3-for-13 off Porcello)
- Chris Parmelee, RF
- Jamey Carroll, 2B (6-for-17 off Porcello)
- Pedro Florimon, SS
P: Mike Pelfrey