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Boesch gets first start in return to Detroit

DETROIT -- The Tigers will raise the American League championship flag and hand out rings in the home-opening series this weekend, but there's one member of the Yankees who was a part of that.

Outfielder Brennan Boesch was released by the Tigers on March 13 and picked up by the Yankees shortly thereafter. Boesch hit .259 with 42 home runs and 175 RBIs in 380 games over three seasons with Detroit. He had just one at-bat for the Yankees in the opening series against the Red Sox, but Boesch was batting fifth in his first start Friday.

"It's not weird at all. Definitely not," Boesch said of returning to Comerica Park. "It'll be a fun experience. Opening Day here's a blast. Being on the other side will be a little different, but it's great to be a part of Opening Day here, because Detroit loves their opening days and the energy's going to be great."

Boesch is staying at the team hotel, as he doesn't own property in the area. Asked before the game about the reaction he expected from the fans, Boesch didn't expect anything special.

Manager Joe Girardi put Boesch in the lineup because he's 7-for-12 with a home run in his career against Tigers starter Doug Fister. As for the homecoming, Girardi said the decision didn't have anything to do with that.

"I don't want him to get too up for that. That's a concern," Girardi said. "But he's had some success off of Fister, and that played into it. I also want to get all our guys going."

Boesch was appreciative of the Tigers for letting him go early in camp, as he had enough time to land with another organization.

"I think it was probably an indication of the kind of organization and the people that run it and what kind of people they are," he said. "That's kind of behind me. I'm just looking forward to being a Yankee. It's been great since I've been over here. Went from one classy organization to another. It's pretty cool."

Chris Vannini is a contributor to
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