MLB Insiders - Lineup Changes for Tigers?

MLB Insiders - Lineup Changes for Tigers?

The lineup that worked so well for the Tigers in the American League Championship Series against Oakland isn't doing so hot against St. Louis in the World Series.

"I may make some lineup changes," manager Jim Leyland said Sunday after Detroit squared the World Series at a game apiece with a 3-1 victory. One change is mandated -- the series shifts to St. Louis, and there will be no DH used for the next three games. That means Sean Casey will return to first base, according to Leyland, but he indicated that there will be other moves as well.

Leadoff man Curtis Granderson is 0-for-9 with two strikeouts in the World Series, so one alternative open to Leyland is putting him down to ninth for one game. But that seems unlikely since he had such a good ALCS.

Placido Polanco might be bumped from the third spot in the batting order since he, too, is hitless in both World Series games. Casey could return to the third spot in the lineup.

Craig Monroe has given Detroit offense out of the No. 2 position in the batting order but might be dropped back to seventh to give some incentive for pitchers to give Ivan Rodriguez some better pitches to hit.

Right-hander Jeff Weaver tried to throw sliders off the outside corner to get Rodriguez out. The Tigers' catcher is 0 for his last 19, but Sunday he had some tough pitches to hit.

Having Casey back at first base means Carlos Guillen goes back to shortstop and Ramon Santiago goes back to the bench.

REPLAY: Why would cold weather bother a pitcher who clearly has ice water flowing through his veins?

Left-hander Kenny Rogers shrugged off the cold and the Cardinals on Sunday night, pitching a two-hitter over eight innings to extend his postseason scoreless-innings streak to 23 and lead the Tigers to a series-squaring 3-1 victory over St. Louis.

The World Series, deadlocked at one victory apiece, shifts to St. Louis for three games beginning Tuesday night. Detroit left-hander Nate Robertson will oppose right-hander Chris Carpenter.

Rogers' string of 23 consecutive scoreless innings encompasses starts in the Division Series, ALCS and World Series. The only other pitcher to have three scoreless starts in one postseason was Christy Mathewson in the 1905 World Series.

Closer Todd Jones survived a scare in the ninth but got C Yadier Molina to hit into a force at second with the bases loaded and two out to end the game.

Jones got the first two Cardinals out in the ninth, but Scott Rolen singled, Juan Encarnacion reached on an error when Jones couldn't come up with his grounder and Jim Edmonds blooped an RBI double down the left-field line. Preston Wilson was hit by a pitch to load the bases before Molina's easy grounder to Ramon Santiago ended the game.

Manager Jim Leyland said of Jones, "He's going to take a little PFP (pitcher's fielding practice) before he gets on the bus. That was not good."

Rogers gave up a two-out walk to 1B Albert Pujols in the first and then a single to Rolen but didn't allow St. Louis another hit until Molina rifled a single to right to open the eighth. A double play cleaned him off the bases.

Rogers walked three and relied more on his curve and changeup than his fastball. He threw 99 pitches in eight innings, and his swiftest fastballs, clocked at 92 and 91 mph, came in the seventh inning.

Detroit's offense got a jump-start two batters into the game, when Craig Monroe rocketed a Jeff Weaver fastball over the left-field fence for his fifth postseason home run and second in two nights.

Magglio Ordonez singled to left with two out and raced home on a double off the left-field wall by Carlos Guillen, who also had a single and a triple in the game. Detroit stranded 10 runners, including not getting a run out of a bases-loaded, no-out situation in the fourth.

But the Tigers added a run in the fifth on a one-out triple into the right field corner by Guillen and a two-out single to right by DH Sean Casey.

Rogers was the subject of a mini-controversy between the first and second innings when television cameras captured him with a substance of some sort on his left hand. When he came out for the second inning, it was gone.

"A couple of Cardinals told Tony (St. Louis manager La Russa) the ball was acting funny," Leyland said. "Tony said he didn't want to make an issue of it, but ... they made Kenny wash his hands."

"I had a big clump of dirt -- dirt and resin, and all that," Rogers said. "I went and took it off."

--LHP Kenny Rogers turned in his third straight shutout start of the postseason Sunday night, giving him 23 consecutive scoreless innings, in pitching Detroit to a 3-1 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals.

NOTES AND QUOTES

The record for consecutive scoreless postseason innings is 27 by Christy Mathewson, although it all came in the 1905 World Series. Rogers entered the postseason having allowed 20 earned runs in 20 1/3 playoff innings.

"For some reason he's on a mission," manager Jim Leyland said. "Having that extra adrenaline has worked for him. For a Justin Verlander or a Jeremy Bonderman, it probably wouldn't work. But for him, for some reason it has.

"The big thing, I think, was that (New York) Yankees game. That got him pumped up."

Rogers gave up two hits, one apiece in the first and eighth innings, walked three and struck out five. His fastball reached a peak of 92 mph in the seventh.

--LF Craig Monroe jump-started the Detroit offense Sunday with a solo home run with one out in the first inning.

Monroe jumped on a Jeff Weaver fastball and rifled it over the left-field wall for his fifth postseason home run. He looked much weaker in his next two at-bats but walked in the sixth.

Monroe has hit second in the batting order for both World Series games, but manager Jim Leyland hinted at changes for Game 3, lineup shuffling that could bump Monroe back down to seventh.

--1B Carlos Guillen will return to shortstop Tuesday night when the World Series resumes in St. Louis.

Sean Casey is slated to start in the field, taking over at first base. Manager Jim Leyland can't use the DH for the next three games because they are being played in a National League park.

Guillen was sharp at the plate again with three hits, a single, double and triple. He scored a run and drove in one.

He had two hits in the opening game of the World Series.

--DH Sean Casey will return to first base Tuesday night in St. Louis.

Casey was hitless in Saturday night's game and looked as if he was having trouble with his left calf while batting his first two times up Sunday until he jumped all over a high fastball for an RBI single in the fifth, expanding Detroit's lead to 3-0.

Casey has been manager Jim Leyland's DH for the first two games, which were in Detroit. The three games in St. Louis will have no DH, so Casey has to be on the field to be in the lineup.

--RF Magglio Ordonez got his first two hits of the World Series on Sunday, both singles.

Ordonez has been handled carefully, but he's still getting good strikes to hit and could be a significant player in the series if circumstances allow.

--2B Placido Polanco probably isn't going to repeat his League Championship Series MVP award in the World Series.

Polanco is 0-for-7 and was hit in the back with a pitch his eighth time up, Sunday. He might be dropped from the third spot in the batting order.

St. Louis is pitching him hard inside and then with low strikes over the plate. The Cardinals are not giving him a chance to push an outside pitch to right or rip it up the middle for a hit.

He hit one long foul off an inside fastball and might catch on to what's happening to him.

Sean Casey might bat third in Game 3, and Polanco will either be restored to second or be dropped down.

--C Ivan Rodriguez is still looking for his first World Series hit and is now 0-for-19 since his last playoff hit.

Rodriguez could be bumped down a spot, or he could find himself being protected by LF Craig Monroe in the batting order if manager Jim Leyland makes some lineups, as he suggested he might.

BY THE NUMBERS: 8.85 -- Kenny Rogers' postseason ERA before this year.

0.00 -- Rogers' postseason ERA in 2006.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "With any athlete I think the longer you fail at something, the harder it is to turn that corner. Without a doubt I believe going out there and having success against that Yankee team was huge for me, huge for my confidence." -- LHP Kenny Rogers

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