Winning more crucial to Santiago than regular role

Winning more crucial to Santiago than regular role

CLEVELAND -- Ramon Santiago was Omar Infante's double-play partner with the Tigers in 2003, when they were both prospects. They were teammates on the Tigers bench for stints in '06 and '07, both trying to stick in the big leagues.

Santiago has been trying to get a starting job in Detroit since. He pretty much had it for the past few weeks, but now will be heading back to utility duty -- for Infante.

That's fine with him. Actually, he indicated it's easier for him that it's Infante taking over instead of somebody else.

"I knew the team was going to platoon me when I signed," Santiago said. "They gave me the opportunity [over the] last month to play. Whatever makes the team better, whatever it takes to go to the playoffs, I just want to win. It's better that it's Omar. I like that.

"It didn't come easy. He worked his way up for a long time, working hard. I'm happy to see him doing good."

Manager Jim Leyland said that Santiago will start at second only when Infante needs a day off. As for the other second baseman on the roster, Ryan Raburn will play almost exclusively in the outfield for now, starting in left field against left-handed pitchers.