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Tigers keep rotation order, stick with Lobstein

Lefty to make next start on turn Thursday

KANSAS CITY -- Kyle Lobstein will make his next start on turn Thursday against the White Sox in Chicago. Manager Brad Ausmus said Saturday he decided to keep his rotation in order coming out of Monday's off-day, giving all of his starters an extra day of rest.

It's a minor difference in days; the Tigers would needed a fifth starter no later than Saturday, anyway. It's a more significant difference in opponent, since Lobstein will face the White Sox on turn rather than get a second straight matchup with the Royals next weekend at Comerica Park. It's a bigger message about the role of Lobstein in the rotation with Justin Verlander out for the foreseeable future.

"He's pitched well," Ausmus said. "Even [Friday], you thought he was in trouble early and he kept the Royals right where they were. So he certainly has earned a little bit [of breathing room], I think."

Lobstein recovered from Friday's three-run opening inning -- albeit with only one hard hit from Royals batters -- to hold Kansas City to a run on six hits over his next 6 1/3 innings. He retired 12 of his final 14 hitters and racked up groundouts along the way.

There wasn't a major adjustment on his part, but he seemed to turn a corner when he struck out Alex Gordon with a runner on third base and one out in the fourth inning.

"I think it was just a matter of keeping them uncomfortable [at the plate], working in and out and changing pitches, trying not to get in a pattern," Lobstein said. "I felt like I was able to stay with the game plan and keep them off-balance. I didn't necessarily have to make any adjustments, but it's more just kind of staying with it, staying focused so you can continue what you were doing."

Lobstein missed the White Sox during their trip to Detroit two weeks ago, having been skipped coming out of the off-day just before the series began. He pitched seven innings of two-run ball against the White Sox last Sept. 22 in Detroit.

Jason Beck is a reporter for Read Beck's Blog and follow him on Twitter @beckjason.
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