CHICAGO -- Brandon Inge's first start of the season Sunday was expected, with White Sox left-hander Chris Sale on the mound. The fact that the start came at designated hitter, though, was a surprise.
Manager Jim Leyland, who often doesn't like talking about his lineups, volunteered his reasoning Sunday morning. It centered on his move to start Ryan Raburn in right field over Brennan Boesch.
By starting Inge at DH and Ramon Santiago at second base, Leyland got as many right-handed bats in his lineup as he could. If Leyland put Raburn or Delmon Young at DH, he would have to put a left-handed hitter into the outfield. If Santiago started at DH, Leyland would have to give up the DH slot if he had to use Santiago at shortstop to replace Jhonny Peralta.
"If I was playing Boesch, it would be different," Leyland said. "But I'm not playing Boesch, so I have to keep my options open at shortstop."
By using Inge at DH, Leyland also has more possibilities to pinch-hit for him in the later innings should White Sox manager Robin Ventura turn to a right-handed reliever.
It was just the second career start at DH for Inge. The other took place April 30, 2002, against former Royals left-hander Chris George, back when Mike Rivera was Detroit's starting catcher.