The odds of reserve outfielder Brennan Boesch starting Monday in Baltimore are pretty close to 100 percent.
Boesch became the first Tiger since 2004 to have four hits, four RBI and score four times in a game Sunday in helping Detroit win its first game of the season, 10-7 at New York against the Yankees.
Boesch got a hit Saturday in his first start of the season and nearly every one of his at-bats over the two games was a good one in that he didn't chase silly pitches and put a good swing on a good strike.
So unless Baltimore's Jake Arrieta comes out throwing left-handed -- he won't -- there's a very good chance manager Jim Leyland will have the tall slugger somewhere in his starting lineup.
The reason Leyland kept the left-handed hitting Boesch on his 25-man roster was his ability to make a significant difference in any game he plays. Boesch showed that in the first half of last season, although his miserable second half put his roster spot in jeopardy this spring.
"He's swinging the bat real good right now," Leyland said. "I think he's a little more relaxed. He put some pressure on himself to make the team this spring."
And he still hit .300 and tied for the team lead with four spring home runs.
Leyland kept Boesch on the roster as a reserve but said he felt he could find enough at-bats for the youngster to make it more beneficial to keep him than send him to Class AAA Toledo to play every day.
Through three games, Boesch has been in the starting lineup twice. He played left field Saturday with Ryan Raburn getting a day off then was the DH on Sunday. Magglio Ordonez would have been the DH but he came out of Saturday's game after six innings with soreness in the left ankle he fractured last July. Don Kelly played right and Boesch hit third for Ordonez.
With a day off looming Tuesday, it could be that Leyland will find it convenient to rest Ordonez another day to make sure his ankle doesn't get pressured. And make sure Boesch gets another afternoon in the sun.
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