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Tigers in need of better at-bats with RISP

Tigers in need of better at-bats with RISP

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Tigers in need of better at-bats with RISP

DETROIT -- Tigers manager Jim Leyland altered his lineup for Game 4 of the American League Championship Series, but the changes will only work if his hitters can start delivering with runners in scoring position.

The Tigers went into Wednesday's game with just five hits in 27 at-bats with runners in scoring position. They were 0-for-7 with three strikeouts during a 1-0 loss to the Red Sox on Tuesday.

Miguel Cabrera summed up what went wrong by saying, "I swung at a lot of bad pitches, balls out of the zone. I need to do a better job and try to swing at strikes."

The Tigers led the AL with a .282 batting average with runners in scoring position during the regular season. Cabrera led the league with a .397 average in those situations while Jhonny Peralta, who drove in the only run with a single in Game 1, hit .344.

"I think yesterday, by our own admission, we expanded the strike zone a little too much," Leyland said. "Tony Perez, who is one of the great RBI guys of all time, I spent a lot of time talking about that, because good RBI guys are hard to find. He told me he was able to expand the strike zone just enough, but not too much.

"And probably in yesterday's case, even according to Miggy, he expanded it a little too much. And Omar [Infante] chased a bad pitch, as well. A lot of times, when a pitcher gets in trouble, he gets guys out on balls. And if we stay in the strike zone, I think we'll be fine."

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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