Ordonez slotted into lineup vs. righty
Tigers outfielder inches closer to everyday play
ARLINGTON -- Sometimes necessity creates opportunity. In the Tigers' case, it might create a chance for Magglio Ordonez to get a little closer to regular play.
After nearly three weeks of an Ordonez platoon with Clete Thomas in right field, limiting Ordonez to starts against left-handed pitchers, both Ordonez and Thomas were in the starting lineup on Monday's 5-2 loss against the Rangers and rookie right-hander Tommy Hunter. Ordonez took his usual spot in right field and batted sixth, with Thomas hitting third and playing in left.
Manager Jim Leyland didn't want to get into questions about his lineup, at least about that part of it.
"That's my lineup today," Leyland said when asked about Ordonez.
Given the numbers recently, he didn't have to say much. Ordonez went 3-for-8 over the weekend against the White Sox and showed signs of not only hitting his way out of his summer slump, but pulling the ball more often. He ripped a key double down the left-field line in the eighth inning of Friday afternoon's series opener, and he laced a double to the left-field fence in his first at-bat in Monday night's opener against the Rangers.
Meanwhile, both Ryan Raburn and Marcus Thames have been slumping as of late. Raburn went 2-for-17 last week and is 4-for-36 over his past 12 games, while Thames went 3-for-17 over the just-finished homestand.
Until Carlos Guillen and his strengthening right shoulder can play the outfield again, those are the Tigers' options in the corner outfield spots.
Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.