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Houston – Tigers second baseman Ian Kinsler is a savvy veteran. He had a good portion of the crowd inside Minute Maid Park guffawing at him when he let a high pop-up by Tyler White drop in front of him in the fifth inning.

But he got the last laugh. He did it on purpose, to force the runner on first – the much swifter Colby Rasmus – at second base.

“Just an exchange of runners, really. That’s all it is,” Kinsler said. “It was an opportunity to get a faster runner off the base and make it less worrisome for our pitcher. Less of a chance he can score from first on a double.”

The Tigers actually work on the play during spring training. Manager Brad Ausmus even has a sign for it.

“It’s in the arsenal,” Ausmus said, with a wry smile.