Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz's bat hits Tigers catcher Alex Avila in the head in the eighth inning Friday night. Avila suffered a 'mild concussion.' (Paul Sancya / Associated Press)
Detroit — The Tigers go for the their fifth victory over the Red Sox in five tries Saturday night at Comerica Park (7:15, Fox/97.1).
And they’ll do it with a shortstop making his first major-league start.
Eugenio Suarez, who injured his leg in his debut Wednesday and has been day-to-day, is getting the start and batting ninth against Red Sox lefty Jon Lester.
Suarez will be the fourth different Tiger to start a game at short this year, following Alex Gonzalez (released), Danny Worth (demoted) and Andrew Romine. The Tigers have received very little offensive production from the slot, with their shortstops batting a combined .194 with a .251 on-base percentage and .241 slugging percentage.
Also of note, Tigers catcher Alex Avila — who suffered what the Tigers are terming a “mild concussion” after getting hit on David Ortiz’s powerful back swing Friday night — is not in the starting lineup. He told The News on Saturday morning, however, that he is “doing good. Feeling much better.”
Saturday night’s is the most marquee of pitching matchups, for the first of back-to-back Boston-Detroit games on national television (Sunday’s game is on ESPN).
Lester faces Max Scherzer for the second time this year. Scherzer and the Tigers came out on top May 16, with a 1-0 victory at Fenway Park. Lester went five innings that start and Scherzer six; both are expected to be big-ticket free agents this winter.
Be sure to follow all Saturday’s game action via our team of Tigers writers.
Saturday, by the way, also marks the Tigers’ first look in 2014 at shortstop Stephen Drew, who was believed to be on Detroit’s radar before he surprisingly signed a contract to return to Boston last month.
The Tigers enter the game 32-25, and 3.5 games up on the White Sox in the AL Central.
The Red Sox are 27-33 and 9.5 games back of the Blue Jays in the AL East.
Here are Saturday’s lineups.
1. Brock Holt (L), 1B
2. Xander Bogaerts (R), 3B
3. Dustin Pedroia (R), 2B
4. David Ortiz (L), DH
5. Grady Sizemore (L), RF
6. Daniel Nava (S), LF
7. Stephen Drew (L), SS
8. David Ross (R), C
9. Jackie Bradley Jr. (L), CF
SP. Jon Lester, LH — 6-6, 3.15
1. Rajai Davis (R), LF
2. Ian Kinsler (R), 2B
3. Miguel Cabrera (R), 1B
4. Victor Martinez (S), DH
5. Torii Hunter (R), RF
6. Nick Castellanos (R), 3B
7. Austin Jackson (R), CF
8. Bryan Holaday (R), C
9. Eugenio Suarez (R), SS
SP. Max Scherzer, RH — 6-2, 3.20