Leyland benches Iglesias, starts Peralta in Game 5

Oct 8, 2013; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Tigers outfielder Jhonny Peralta (right) is congratulated by designated hitter Victor Martinez (41) after hitting a three-run home run against the Oakland Athletics in the fifth inning in game four of the American League divisional series playoff baseball game at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

In a do-or-die matchup at the Coliseum in Oakland, Detroit Tigers manager Jim Leyland made a significant lineup change, benching rookie Jose Iglesias in favor of Jhonny Peralta, who recently returned from a 50-game PED suspension.

Peralta has proven to be a major asset for a struggling Tigers’ offense, going three-for-eight (.375) in the Division Series matchup against Oakland with a key home run and 5 RBIs.

Iglesias, who was acquired as part of a multi-team trade earlier this season involving the Chicago White Sox and Boston Red Sox, has struggled offensively, hitting just .083 in the series with one walk and two strikeouts.

The Tigers won a must-win Game 4 in Detroit on Tuesday night to force tonight’s deciding contest. The continued offensive woes of injury-plagued third baseman Miguel Cabrera has been a major issue for the club, and until last night, any major offensive support of pitchers had been practically nonexistent.

First pitch is scheduled for 8:00 p.m. ET. Justin Verlander will start for the Tigers and will be opposed by rookie Sonny Gray.

Topics: ALDS, Detroit Tigers, Oakland Athletics

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