Thursday’s lineups: Tigers at Orioles
When news of Steven Moya’s call-up emerged this morning, the assumption was that it set up a day off for Justin Upton. The fact that Ubaldo Jimenez has been struggling against left-handed hitters this season (22-for-62, well above his .239 career average), and the prospect of putting Moya’s bat to the plate at homer-friendly Camden Yards made him too good to sit, and manager Brad Ausmus said Wednesday that he had discussed with coaches the idea of sitting Upton for a night.
Instead, the Tigers are trying something different. Moya is indeed in left field, but Upton is in center, his first start there since he was a prospect at Double-A Mobile in 2007. The small dimensions of Camden Yards give him less ground to cover, but it’ll be interesting nonetheless.
Also worth noting: With the Tigers lineup back at full strength, Nick Castellanos is batting fifth tonight rather than sixth, perhaps a side benefit of his success batting cleanup in Washington. Upton moves down to sixth.
The Orioles lineup, meanwhile, is scorching, no matter what the order. The O’s have back-to-back homers in each of their last three games. If they can do it against Pelfrey (or the bullpen), they’d tie the 1964 Twins for the record with four straight. Mark Trumbo is 6-for-15 with three homers in his last three games, and 5-for-10 against Pelfrey. Manny Machado is 20-for-48 with 11 extra-base hits in his last 12 games. Adam Jones has broken out of his early-season slump with an 8-for-19 stretch over his last four games.
TIGERS (career numbers off Jimenez)
- Ian Kinsler, 2B (6-for-22, 3 doubles, 4 walks, 4 K’s)
- J.D. Martinez, RF (2-for-9, 2 HR, walk, 3 K’s)
- Miguel Cabrera, 1B (15-for-43, 4 doubles, HR, 9 walks, 8 K’s)
- Victor Martinez, DH (9-for-29, double, 4 HR, walk, 5 K’s)
- Nick Castellanos, 3B (0-for-6, K)
- Justin Upton, CF (7-for-25, 2 doubles, triple, 2 HR, 3 walks, 7 K’s)
- Steven Moya, LF
- Jarrod Saltalamacchia, C (1-for-6, 3 K’s)
- Jose Iglesias, SS (3-for-4, triple, HR)
P: Mike Pelfrey
ORIOLES (career numbers vs. Pelfrey)
- Joey Rickard, LF
- Manny Machado, SS (2-for-6)
- Adam Jones, CF (6-for-12)
- Chris Davis, 1B (2-for-6, 2 doubles, 3 K’s)
- Mark Trumbo, RF (5-for-10, HR, walk, 2 K’s)
- Pedro Alvarez, DH (1-for-10, double, 2 walks, 4 K’s)
- Jonathan Schoop, 2B (2-for-3)
- Ryan Flaherty, 3B (1-for-2)
- Caleb Joseph, C (0-for-2)
P: Ubaldo Jimenez