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Peralta gets latest tryout as No. 5 hitter

The Sports Xchange

The search for a fifth hitter in the Detroit batting order goes on.

Jhonny Peralta hit fifth Tuesday night, for the second time this season, making it four different players to bat behind cleanup man Prince Fielder in as many games. Eight different players have been used in the fifth spot this season.

Delmon Young was the guy through the first two-thirds of the season. He was dropped because his hits weren't driving in enough runs.

Alex Avila batted fifth Monday, and he went 0-for-4 in the Tigers' 8-4 win at Minnesota.

Brennan Boesch had the job for a while, initially successfully but during the weekend getting bumped due to a miserable road trip. Boesch has yet to learn to take the bad with the good.

The heart of the batting order is not a good place to be mixing and matching on a daily basis.

Peralta was chosen because he was hitting .500 over his career off Minnesota starter Brian Duensing and because he was batting .346 in 21 games at Target Field.

But against a right-handed pitcher, it's unlikely Peralta will bat one notch behind Fielder. Peralta has fewer RBI than Young.

"That's still a work in progress," manager Jim Leyland said. "We'll see what happens (Wednesday)."

A year ago, Leyland wrote in Victor Martinez as his fifth batter most of the season, but Martinez is out with a left knee injury and won't be back until next spring.

Which means the search continues.

Copyright (C) 2012 The Sports Xchange. All Rights Reserved.


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