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Leyland to find right times to use V-Mart in NL park

Leyland to find right times to use V-Mart in NL park

PITTSBURGH -- Maybe later in the season, Victor Martinez will be far enough removed from knee surgery to get back behind the plate. For now, however, that's not happening.

Thus, while the Tigers returned to National League rules with Interleague Play for a couple more nights in Pittsburgh, Martinez went to the bench, leaving manager Jim Leyland to try to time his pinch-hit opportunities for when he can do the most damage.

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"It depends on what happens with the lineup and where the runners are and how many outs there are," Leyland said. "Your options are pretty much cut and dry, where you would run him up there."

The pitcher's spot is the obvious one, but he wouldn't rule out hitting him for the catcher.

"You would preferably like to have him in an RBI situation if you could," Leyland said, "but you can't dictate that."

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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