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Tuiasosopo walks way into rare Tigers company

Tuiasosopo walks way into rare Tigers company

DETROIT -- Sunday night was a performance to behold for at least one Tiger, even if it was in defeat. As Matt Tuiasosopo stepped to the plate time and again, only to toss his bat and take his base, he was walking his way to a career best.

What, you were thinking about Miguel Cabrera's three-homer performance? Actually, what Tuiasosopo did Sunday -- walking four times in a game without any of them intentional -- is something not even Cabrera has done as a Tiger.

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In fact, just three other Tigers have done it since 2000. Austin Jackson did it once in each of the previous two seasons. Brennan Boesch and Gary Sheffield did it once each. All of them were regulars. Tuiasosopo is not, but his at-bats earned him a rare start against a right-hander Tuesday night in Cleveland, which started Corey Kluber.

Tuiasosopo made the team as an aggressive, lefty-pounding power hitter, and he has far exceeded expectations. Yet he had never walked more than twice in a big league game, nor had he walked more than three times in a Minor League game.

Three of those walks Sunday night came after Tuiasosopo worked the count full, one of them battling out of an 0-2 hole.

"He obviously did a pretty good job the other night," manager Jim Leyland said.

Those at-bats, plus a huge reverse split for Kluber, earned Tuiasosopo the start. Right-handed batters entered Tuesday hitting .357 (20-for-56) off Kluber, compared to .256 (14-for-57) for left-handed hitters.

"He's done a good job against left-handers, hitting over .400, so I ran him out there tonight," Leyland said. "He might run into one, I don't know, but he's giving us good at-bats."

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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