Peralta has support of Tigers clubhouse

Peralta has support of Tigers clubhouse
October 18, 2013, 3:30 pm
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BOSTON — As the Tigers return to Fenway Park needing to sweep the final two games to overtake the Red Sox in the ALCS, one of the players they'll be counting on is Jhonny Peralta.

Peralta — who came back in the last week of the regular season after serving a 50-game suspension for PED use -- has been one of Detroit's leading hitters in the series, batting .333 (6-for-18) with three doubles. Overall in the postseason, he's at .367 (11-for-30) with 1 homer and 6 RBI.

“I'm . . . surprised at how he's able to keep it going,” said teammate Torii Hunter said. “Before the suspension he was banging (Peralta batted .303 in the regular season with 11 homers and 55 RBI) . . . When we lost him for those 50 games, you can look at the numbers, I'm pretty sure it's not the same as a team, collectively."

That suspension made him a target of Fenway Park fans in Games 1 and 2, as they serenaded him with chants of "STER-OIDS!" and "U-SER!" The cries will no doubt resume in Game 6 on Saturday, but Hunter doesn't think that's fair.

“If you know Jhonny, he's a soft‑spoken, nicest guy in the world," said Hunter. "If you dig in everybody's closets, we've all made mistakes, in college, in high school. Come on, somewhere down the line we've made mistakes. But we get over them and we learn from them. And we become better people because of our mistakes and that's why we're the people we are today.

“And Jhonny Peralta is an awesome, awesome guy. If you got to know him you wouldn't boo him. We all made mistakes, he made mistakes, he's punished for them and now he's here to help us win a championship . . .

"[No] apology, we love him in the clubhouse."