DETROIT -- Tigers shortstop-turned-outfielder Jhonny Peralta came into Game 5 of the American League Championship Series looking like he hadn't missed a beat since returning from his 50-game suspension for his involvement in the Biogenesis scandal.
"Yeah, it's a new life. A new opportunity for me is important," Peralta said. "Detroit gave me the opportunity to come back here, and I appreciate everything. I'm like a newborn, and that's good."
Peralta was hitting .419 in the postseason with a team-leading six RBIs entering Thursday's game and singled in his first at-bat. He said he practiced with a friend in the Dominican Republic while serving his suspension.
The stigma of missing time for alleged performance-enhancing drug use appears to be wearing off, unless the player is a big star like Alex Rodriguez. Peralta, Marlon Byrd and Bartolo Colon all were suspended over the last two years, and all played big roles for their respective playoff teams.
"If you talk to the guys who got suspended, they know that they made a mistake and I don't think many guys are going to try it again," Tigers outfielder Don Kelly said. "People realize people make mistakes and it's just one of those things. They did the time and they're able to play again."
Second-guessing: Managers always are scrutinized for their moves, and even more during the postseason. But Red Sox manager John Farrell said it doesn't really enter his mind.
"If you didn't have thick skin and if you didn't recognize you're in a position where you're going to be under scrutiny, you're probably in the wrong business," Farrell said. "So I'm sure there's going to be something tonight that is going to come up that will be questioned, and you fully expect that."
Changing the narrative: One day after saying he made a "huge lineup change," Tigers manager Jim Leyland downplayed his moves, which included dropping Austin Jackson to the No. 8 hole and inserting Torii Hunter into the leadoff spot.
"The lineup really wasn't a drastic change, but people were making a big deal about it," he said. "We just moved some guys up. The one mission was to try to get Austin maybe away from it a little bit and let him relax a little bit. He did a terrific job. He had a terrific game. From that standpoint the mission was accomplished."
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