The Detroit Tigers will have to wait at least another day to see if their juggled lineup will wake their quiet bats because Game 4 of the World Series was postponed Wednesday night because of rain.

Manager Jim Leyland planned to drop Placido Polanco from third to seventh and move Carlos Guillen and Sean Casey up in the order. But the new-look lineup can’t be used until tonight – or Friday if rain that is forecast washes out another day.

Polanco was the AL championship series MVP after hitting .529 against Oakland, but he was 0-for-10 in the first three games against the St. Louis Cardinals, who lead the Series 2-1.

Leadoff hitter Curtis Granderson (0-for-13) and No. 6 hitter Ivan Rodriguez (0-for-11) are struggling, too, but Leyland chose to keep them in their places in the order.

“You don’t want to criticize anybody, and I’m not criticizing anybody, but right now in the lineup we have three guys that are 0-for-34,” Leyland said. “The key is to get them going.

“Once in a while, you hope just something like that maybe shakes things up. But credit the Cardinal pitching, I think it’s what’s caused us a tough time so far.”

The only two hitters batting better than .300 are Guillen and Casey.

Guillen was slated to hit third and Casey fifth, two spots higher than they batted in Tuesday night’s 5-0 loss. Guillen was hitting. 500 and Casey .333, entering Game 4.

Rodriguez has a sore groin, hip and back, but Leyland planned to stick with him – though he hinted that he could put Vance Wilson behind the plate.

“It’s just little nagging things that happen to a lot of players this time of year,” Leyland said. “I think if you’re 7-for-12, they’re easier to live with. If you’re 0-for-12, they hurt a little more.”

Not that he has great options, but Leyland said he didn’t plan to sit any of the trio of players that were hitless in the Series through three games.

“This is the team that’s taken us to the World Series and these are the players that are either going to win the World Series or are not going to win it,” he said. “There’s no magic formula now.”

Leyland has made a string of successful moves, dating to spring training, and Granderson is not about to doubt him now.

“If he would’ve left it alone, that would’ve been a great move,” he said. “If he would’ve had a pitcher leading off, that would’ve been a good move, too.”

AP-ES-10-25-06 2235EDT


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