Jhonny Peralta is starting in left field for the Tigers tonight

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Jhonny Peralta’s Biogenesis suspension is over. The Tigers have clinched the division. So it’s experiment time:

And it’s a pretty smart experiment. Jose Iglesias is a great gloveman at short and there’s no sense in depriving the Tigers’ pitchers of that in the playoffs. Left field, in contrast, has been pretty darn bad for Detroit, with Andy Dirks’ OPS+ of 86 leading the way thus far. If Peralta’s bat isn’t rusty, and if Peralta can keep from embarrassing himself in left, the Tigers will have a nice upgrade.

And even if Peralta can’t handle left, having him around as a bench bat, a pinch-hitter for Iglesias if needed and a potential replacement for Miguel Cabrera if the banged up MVP can’t go for some reason would be a nice luxury.

As for you who disapprove of the recently-suspended Peralta being activated by the Tigers:

 

Someone hand me a tissue. I can’t help but hear “The Battle Hymn of the Republic” playing over Leyland’s words and I can’t keep from getting weepy.

Mariners sweep A’s in two-game Japan Series

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The big news, of course, is Ichiro’s retirement. But there was a baseball game that counted today as well and the Mariners took it. Seattle beat Oakland 5-4 in 12 innings to sweep the two-game Japan Series.

Ichiro may have taken an 0-for-4 in his last game, but Ryon Healy and Mitch Haniger homered for the Mariners, staking Seattle to a 3-0 lead after three. The A’s picked up two in the fifth and Seattle added one via a Jay Bruce sac fly to make it 4-2 in the seventh. Oakland tied things back up, ultimately sending it to extras when Khris Davis singled in Matt Chapman in the seventh. Davis would blow a chance to put Oakland ahead in the 11th when he struck out with the bases loaded.

In the twelfth, Domingo Santana, who hit a grand slam in Seattle’s win in the opener on Wednesday, beat out a would-be double-play with the bases loaded to drive in the go-ahead and, ultimately, winning run.

The rebuilding Mariners are now 2-0 on the young year. The A’s, who won 97 games last year, are 0-2. Viva the smallest of sample sizes.