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 Tigers cement their 2012 Opening Day lineup

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PostSubject: Tigers cement their 2012 Opening Day lineup   Tue Apr 03, 2012 8:12 pm

Tigers cement their Opening Day lineup
Santiago will start at second base against Red Sox
By Jason Beck / | 04/03/12 5:03 PM ET

DUNEDIN, Fla. -- It's official: The lineup the Tigers trotted out against the Blue Jays on Monday will be the lineup the Tigers use Opening Day against the Red Sox on Thursday.

Manager Jim Leyland strongly suggested it when he filled out the lineup card. With Brandon Inge on the 15-day disabled list, Leyland said it outright.

That means Ramon Santiago, the switch-hitter who has made most of his starts against right-handed pitchers the last few years, will start at second base against Red Sox lefty Jon Lester. He'll be the extra right-handed bat the Tigers insert into the lineup for balance, thanks to some positional flexibility.

Ryan Raburn will garner the majority of starts at second base, Leyland said on Tuesday, but he'll frequently be used at other positions against a left-handed starting pitcher. He's expected to serve as the designated hitter Thursday, with Delmon Young starting in left.

Left-handed hitter Andy Dirks, whose spot on the Opening Day roster became official on Tuesday, will be the DH on Saturday for the second game of the season. Boston is expected to start right-hander Josh Beckett that day, though Beckett was having his injured left thumb examined by a doctor on Monday.

Here's the full lineup for Opening Day:

1. Austin Jackson, CF
2. Brennan Boesch, RF
3. Miguel Cabrera, 3B
4. Prince Fielder, 1B
5. Delmon Young, LF
6. Ryan Raburn, DH
7. Jhonny Peralta, SS
8. Alex Avila, C
9. Ramon Santiago, 2B

Pitcher: Justin Verlander

Jason Beck is a reporter for 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.

“It takes pitching, hitting and defense. Any two can win. All three make you unbeatable.”    
–Joe Garagiola
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