10/15/2013 9:45 P.M. ET
Iglesias to start at short behind Fister in Game 4
Considering righty's ground-ball tendencies, Leyland puts faith in defensive whiz
By Jason Beck / MLB.com
DETROIT -- Jhonny Peralta started Tuesday's American League Championship Series Game 3 at shortstop for the second consecutive game behind a second consecutive high-strikeout, low-ground-ball-ratio Tigers pitcher. But once Doug Fister takes the mound for Game 4, airing at 8 p.m. ET on FOX, Jose Iglesias will be back in the lineup. Manager Jim Leyland said as much before Tuesday's 1-0 loss and reiterated it afterward.
Peralta is expected to start in left field.
The decision has nothing to do with Detroit's offense. It's entirely about the defense behind Fister, owner of the fourth-highest ground ball-fly ball ratio in the Majors during the regular season.
Peralta's start at short in Game 3 gave Leyland a chance to offer the struggling Andy Dirks a chance to dig out from his late-season slump. Dirks struck out and grounded out in two at-bats against John Lackey, the latter at-bat coming with a runner on third and two outs in the fifth inning, before Iglesias hit for him against lefty Craig Breslow to lead off the eighth inning.
Iglesias struck out, dipping to 2-for-16 with a walk and a hit-by-pitch this postseason. Aside from Peralta, Tigers left fielders are 2-for-14 with four walks.