Minneapolis, MN (WKZO) – Despite hitting a career .667 (2-3) with a home run against Twins starter Mike Pelfrey, Jim Leyland has decided to start Don Kelly in left field over Andy Dirks on Thursday afternoon in the final game of the season opening series against Minnesota. Kelly will bat sixth.
Through two games Dirks has yet to get a hit and has only reached base once. He was also partially to blame for the ninth inning fly ball that dropped between him and Austin Jackson, a mistake that drove in the game winning runs in Wednesday’s 3-2 loss to the Twins.
Kelly hit .320 in spring training and smashed four home runs to earn a spot on the Tigers roster after signing a minor league deal with Detroit this off-season. Kelly is 0-2 with a walk career against Pelfrey.
Pelfrey is making his Twins debut after spending seven seasons with the New York Mets. The righty is a career 50-54 with a 4.36 ERA but made only three starts in 2012 after having Tommy John surgery in May.
Rick Porcello gets the start for Detroit. Porcello was 4-1 with 3.00 ERA this spring in 24 innings while striking out 21 and not walking a batter.
Today’s lineup: Jackson-CF, Hunter-RF, Cabrera-3B, Fielder-1B, Martinez-DH, Kelly-LF, Peralta-SS, Avila-C, Infante-2B, Porcello-P