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Status of Avila (strained tendon) uncertain for Game 6

Posted by Julian Benbow, Globe Staff  October 18, 2013 06:29 PM

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Alex Avila and Jim Leyland boarded the Tigers' flight to Boston this morning at almost the exact same time, Leyland said.

Leyland had no idea what he was going to do with Avila after the catcher found himself on the wrong end of a collision at the plate with Red Sox catcher David Ross in Game 5 Thursday night and ended up with a tendon strain in his left knee.

With the Tigers facing elimination, Leyland said he would wait until Saturday to decide on Avila's status for Game 6 at Fenway Park.

"He's a little sore, but we'll have to just wait and see tomorrow how it is," Leyland said.

Leyland has tinkered with his lineup the past two games, and what he does with it Saturday will depend on Avila, he said.

"It will be a big factor, whether he plays or not, it will obviously affect us some," Leyland said. "I don't think there will be anything tricky. It will pretty much be using what we've used the last couple of days, depending on Alex's health. I don't look for any major changes or anything, any major surprises."

In Game 5, Leyland replaced Avila with Brayan Pena, but he has considered going with Victor Martinez behind the plate, sliding Miguel Cabrera (who is also banged up) from third base to designated hitter, and putting either Ramon Santiago or Don Kelly at third.

"That has been thought about," he said. "This time of year, with the significance of everything and then so much media, once you mention something like that, it's all over the wires that Martinez might catch. That's not true. I hope nobody starts writing that, because it's not true.

"But it would be an option, let me put it that way. It would be an option."

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