Tigers drop Josh Harrison to No. 7; he responds with big hit in win

Chris McCosky
The Detroit News
Josh Harrison was dropped from the leadoff spot Tuesday.

Boston — The decision to move struggling Josh Harrison out of the leadoff spot in the Tigers order was made Monday.

Jeimer Candelario was moved up to the top spot in Ron Gardenhire’s order, and Harrison dropped to seventh, for Game 1 of the doubleheader Tuesday.

“It wasn’t easy for me to do this,” Gardenhire said. “But I know we’ve given him enough time to this point."

Harrison went into the games Tuesday hitting .122, having collected two hits in his last 30 at-bats.

More: Tigers' Josh Harrison thinks he's found key to cracking early slump

“I had a good conversation with him,” Gardenhire said. “I just think when you are going through scuffles and trying to figure out your swing and making adjustments, and then trying to lead off and take pitches — it just doesn’t add up.

“I told him we’re going to move you down and let you figure it out and find your swing. Then we’ll get you back up there. We need him. We need him up there. He’s a good table-setter when he’s going good.”

Gardenhire said Harrison understood.

“He just needs to relax, go at-bat by at-bat and try not to do too much,” Gardenhire said. “He knows. He gets it. He went through this in Pittsburgh, too.”

So far so good. Harrison responded Tuesday with a single and double.

His double broke a 3-3 tie in the eighth inning of the Tigers' 7-4 win.

"He's been working really hard and he did make another adjustment," Gardenhire said. "You saw today, he wasn't tying himself up.

"He was freer with his bat going through the strike zone.

"Good for him and good for us."


Twitter: @cmccosky