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Kelly gets the start in left in series finale

Kelly gets the start in left in series finale

MINNEAPOLIS -- Tigers manager Jim Leyland played his regular lineup the first two games against the Twins, and he planned on playing it again for Friday's home opener. On Thursday, he made one change, starting Don Kelly in left field over Andy Dirks.

It was the one day this week he saw an opportunity to start Kelly, he said. If that concern is any hint, it sounds like he could end up playing a little more early this season than last year, when Kelly started one out of the Tigers' first 12 games.

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"Dirks is gonna play tomorrow and the next day, and you've got a left-hander Sunday," Leyland said, "so now [Kelly] will be sitting too long [otherwise]. Dirks is fine. That's just that you want to get him in there."

Kelly went 1-for-2 with a single under the glove of Twins second baseman Jamey Carroll. Matt Tuiasosopo made his Tigers debut pinch-hitting for Kelly when the Twins went to lefty reliever Brian Duensing in the sixth.

Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. Read Beck's Blog and follow him on Twitter @beckjason. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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