Leyland hoping Peralta can help spark offense
DETROIT -- With the Tigers' offense stalled, scoring zero runs over the last 17 innings, manager Jim Leyland is hoping Jhonny Peralta can give the team a boost. Peralta will start in left field in Game 3 of the American League Division Series against the A's on Monday (1 p.m. ET, MLB Network).
After a three-run first inning in Game 1, the Tigers are 10-for-58 (.172) with no extra-base hits and 16 strikeouts.
"I'm going to play Peralta tomorrow," Leyland said Sunday, "maybe to try to get another extra base ‑‑ a bat in the lineup, because we've got to try to score some runs, obviously."
Peralta will be playing in his first game at Comerica Park following his 50-game suspension due to his involvement in the Biogenesis investigation. In his only at-bat of the postseason, Peralta pinch-hit in the ninth inning during Game 1, and hit a flyout to right.
Peralta made three starts in the final regular-season series against the Marlins, going 3-for-12 with a double and an RBI. Those three games are also the shortstop-turned-left fielder's only defensive game experience in the outfield.
"You're still taking a little bit of a chance, because, defensively, you don't know what's going to happen," Leyland said. "But there comes a point where you might have to give up something to get something. So I'm just hoping that maybe he can knock in a couple of runs and we can get a lead and maybe get him out of there later in the game."
Peralta is 1-for-9 against A's starter Jarrod Parker in his career with two walks and two strikeouts. Although fellow left fielder Andy Dirks has a better track record against Parker, 3-for-11 with two strikeouts, Dirks has just one hit in his last 18 at-bats over his last six games.
Leyland said he's hoping Peralta can make a similar impact to Oakland's Seth Smith, who was inserted into the lineup for Game 2 and went 2-for-4.
"I thought it was a good move [by Oakland]," Leyland said. "We're going to slip Peralta in there tomorrow and hope that maybe we can get the same kind of results."