Tigers move Boesch up to fifth behind Prince

Tigers move Boesch up to fifth behind Prince

BOSTON -- Wednesday's Tigers lineup shuffle to move Brennan Boesch up to the fifth spot behind Prince Fielder and Delmon Young down to sixth was a move designed to get another left-handed bat in the middle of the order against Red Sox starter Aaron Cook, who entered his start giving up a .309 batting average to lefties this year.

Whether the Tigers make it a longer-term lineup decision is a matter that could be coming up shortly.

"I've been contemplating this for a little bit," Tigers manager Jim Leyland said before the game. "I'm going to think about it [on the off-day Thursday], maybe have a little bit of a different look, see what it looks like. Gotta try something."

It would put left-handed hitters back-to-back in the order, which could make it easier for an opponent to bring in a left-handed reliever to face Prince Fielder. But then, Young's .278 average and .775 OPS off lefties -- the average a steep drop from last year -- hasn't stopped opponents from doing that anyway.

Boesch batted .295 in July with seven doubles, four homers, 17 RBIs and an .828 OPS. All of those numbers were his best for any month so far this season.

"I thought he got in a pretty good groove for a while," Leyland said. "I think he was laying off pitches a little bit better, being a little more selective, and I think it paid some dividends for him. Hopefully, he can do that the last two months. That would be big for us, obviously."