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Peralta hits fifth in finale with Orioles

Peralta hits fifth in finale with Orioles

Peralta hits fifth in finale with Orioles
DETROIT -- For the fourth time this season, shortstop Jhonny Peralta hit fifth in the lineup and served as Prince Fielder's protection on Sunday.

Finding a reliable No. 5 hitter has been somewhat of an issue for Detroit's offense as of late. Designated hitter Delmon Young mostly had been delegated those responsibilities. But after posting a season .263 average batting behind Miguel Cabrera and Fielder, manager Jim Leyland made some adjustments.

Against right-handers, catcher Alex Avila and outfielder Brennan Boesch have split the duties in August. But with the Tigers in a five-game stretch against southpaws, the skipper turned to Peralta, who is in the position for the eighth time in the past two seasons.

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"For me, it's not pressure," said Peralta prior to Sunday's series finale against the O's. "I don't care where I'm hitting. I've been [there] before -- four, five, third in the lineup. So for me, it's no pressure. I already know the game. It's a lot of [RBI] chances. Sometimes you [come through], sometimes not. But it's not pressure."

The 30-year-old Peralta went 1-for-4 on Saturday night in a 3-2 loss to Baltimore and knocked in Detroit's only two runs, although he did leave six runners on base prior to that.

Peralta has hit .214 (6-for-28) batting fifth in the past two years. His second-most career at-bats (932) have come in the five-hole, however, he does own his worst average there (.244) compared to any other spot. He's also batting .234 against lefties.

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