The Detroit Tigers are looking to salvage one game of their three-game set against the Boston Red Sox tonight at Fenway Park, having dropped the first two contests despite their bats continuing a recent strong uptick in performance.
And fans will immediately notice that for tonight's game, it will be center fielder Riley Greene stepping up to the plate second in the lineup.
Didn’t take Riley Greene long to get in the No. 2 spot https://t.co/Ly3VMl2Rrp
— Cody Stavenhagen (@CodyStavenhagen) June 22, 2022
He'll be near the top of the Tigers batting order tonight against Red Sox right-hander Michael Wacha. And according to team managerA.J. Hinch, it was Greene's quality at-bats that prompted his decision.
Riley Greene is near the top of Detroit's batting order
“Just the quality of his at-bats,” Hinch said. “Plus, I really think nothing fazes him. I don’t know if it guarantees future success but he’s shown complete comfort at this level so far. For him, it’s just matters when he has to get ready to hit, not where he’s hitting.”
Greene has reached 1st base 10 times in his 17 plate appearances so far in his young MLB career.
Hinch was also quick to give compliments to shortstop Javier Baez, who has improved his play of late after struggling for much of the first portion of the year. In his last ten games, Baez boasts a stat line of .278/.341/.583, walking at a 9.8% clip and striking out at a 12.2% rate.
“What is encouraging to me is his track record,” Hinch said. “He’s been very good for a very long time. The inconsistencies have been his battle, but he’s very talented and very dangerous as a hitter. He’s carried teams for months at a time.”
“He’s still going to pull the ball,” Hinch said. “But I like that he’s been a tougher two-strike hitter and doing some damage to the opposite side of the field. He can hit the ball out of the ballpark anywhere. I’m just glad he’s seeing it better.”
Tonight's game begins at 7:10 PM EST with coverage on Bally Sports Detroit and 97.1 The Ticket.