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Tigers Vs. Pirates Starting Lineups: Don Kelly To Hit Leadoff For 2nd Straight Game

With outfielder Austin Jackson still on the shelf with an abdominal strain, Detroit Tigers utility man Don Kelly will bat leadoff for the second consecutive game on Friday to open up a three-game set with Pittsburgh at Comerica Park.

After dropping two in a row to Minnesota and three of their last four, the Tigers will send ace Justin Verlander to the mound to try and stifle Pittsburgh's offense and settle things down a bit. The Pirates, who feature many of the game's best young hitting prospects, are off to an 18-20 start to the year and currently sit in third place in the NL Central.

The Pirates will send out righty Charlie Morton to face Verlander, in hopes that Detroit's struggles to move runners over will continue for yet another series. The 28-year-old Morton has only lasted longer than six innings once all season though, and has given up 39 hits in 33 innings. He is primarily a ground ball pitcher and did not strike out a single batter in his latest appearance, so a swing-happy Tigers lineup could feast early on if he's unable to locate his pitches.

Here are the starting lineups for Friday's opener:

1. Don Kelly - CF
2. Andy Dirks - LF
3. Miguel Cabrera - 3B
4. Prince Fielder - 1B
5. Delmon Young - DH
6. Alex Avila - C
7. Brennan Boesch - RF
8. Jhonny Peralta - SS
9. Ryan Raburn - 2B
Justin Verlander - SP

1. Josh Harrison - DH
2. Neil Walker - 2B
3. Andrew McCutchen - CF
4. Pedro Alvarez - 3B
5. Garrett Jones - RF
6. Casey McGehee - 1B
7. Nate McLouth - LF
8. Clint Barmes - SS
9. Michael McKenry - C
Charlie Morton - SP

For more on the Tigers, head over to Bless You Boys. For more on the Pirates, be sure to check out Bucs Dugout. And for MLB coverage, make sure to visit Baseball Nation.