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Tigers lineup: Jim Leyland decides to ‘churn up the butter’ by moving Miguel Cabera up

10.16.13 at 4:17 pm ET
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DETROIT — With his team having scored a total of six runs in the first three games of the American League Championship Series, Tiger manager Jim Leyland switched up his batting order for Game 4.

Despite his struggles (3-for-33, 18 strikeouts), Austin Jackson remains in the lineup, moving down to the eighth spot. The move means Torii Hunter will leadoff, with Miguel Cabrera hitting second, a spot he has only manned twice in his career.

“Well, I think I’m actually doing Austin Jackson a favor,” Leyland said. “He’s getting kicked around pretty good right now. I think it’s easy to kick people when they’re down. I’m not taking him out of the lineup, so I am sticking with him. If I was taking guys out of the lineup, when you’re in the postseason you don’t really bench somebody, you might sit them. During the season you bench them for a week or something. There’s not anything like being benched in the postseason.

“I am sticking with him, just a different spot. The strikeouts so far, it’s got to get to you a little bit. And like I said, anybody can kick somebody when they’re down little bit. I just wanted to refresh him, put him lower in the lineup, and hopefully that will relax him a little bit.

“You’ve got Torii Hunter and Cabrera and Fielder hitting right in the first inning, that’s pretty good power and we’ve got to try to get on the board somehow. And we know we live with extra base hits and home runs because there’s not much speed up there. But the speed that was up there was not getting on base.

“We maneuvered a little bit. I really thought about this long and hard last night. People were talking ‘€‘’€‘ Jeff said maybe, you know, about Kelly.  But I didn’t think that was the answer. I thought long and hard, if I could come up with something, I thought long and hard about this, and I think it makes a lot of sense. I really do.

“I mean, we scored one run and no runs in two of the games.  It certainly can’t hurt.  We’re going to take a shot.  If nothing else, when guys look at the lineup card they kind of look at it a little bit.  And maybe it wakes you up a little bit.  Not that they’ve been sleeping, they’ve been great games.  Just a little something to, you know, churn up the butter a little bit.”

Also of note is that Jose Iglesias returns to the starting lineup at shortstop after being relegated to pinch-hitting duties in Game 3.

Leyland also added when asked about the move by the assembled media during his pregame press conference, “I guess that we don’t all agree, you don’t always agree with me, and I don’t always agree with you. But I think this is one thing we both agree on, we had to do something.  I thought we had to shake it up a little bit.  I think most of the writers and the broadcasters and the media people agree that we had to do something.”

The Tigers’ lineup against Red Sox starter Jake Peavy is as follows:

Torii Hunter RF

Miguel Cabrera 3B

Prince Fielder 1B

Victor Martinez DH

Jhonny Peralta LF

Alex Avila C

Omar Infante 2B

Austin Jackson CF

Jose Iglesias SS

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