DETROIT -- Rookie outfielder Quintin Berry began the month of August by playing in three straight games. After Aug. 4, though, he didn't appear in the lineup for back-to-back games for more than a month.
He found himself in a reserve role, serving mostly as a late-game defensive replacement and pinch-runner, as Austin Jackson, Andy Dirk and Brennan Boesch served as the three starting outfielders.
He's still used in both roles against lefties, but as of Sept. 15, he's been used in the lineup instead of Boesch on a more regular basis against right-handed pitching.
"In my opinion, at this particular time, against a righty, I think I have to play Berry over Boesch," manager Jim Leyland said on Wednesday. "I made that decision down the stretch. That's just the way it is."
Leyland also likes the added threat of Berry's speed at the top of the lineup.
Berry, batting .280 against right-handers this season compared with Boesch's .247, is 8-for-28 in the seven games he's started in September. Boesch is 10-for-47 in 14 starts this month and, as a result, has started one game since Sept. 17.