DETROIT -- Andrew Romine's fourth consecutive start at shortstop on Wednesday gave the Tigers another left-handed bat against James Shields, but the lefty-righty splits aren't all that different for the Royals' right-hander.
The difference for the other starting pitcher, Rick Porcello, with Romine at shortstop is a little bigger. And as Romine made his fourth consecutive start in the series finale, his defense seemed to be a factor in his recent resurgence as a relevant shortstop in the Tigers' infield picture.
"Consistency with the glove, obviously, we've known," manager Brad Ausmus said on Tuesday. "But if you get a guy like that, who's a good defensive shortstop, swinging the bat pretty well, stealing some bases, it makes it a lot easier to write his name in the lineup if you're scoring runs. If he were scuffling with the bat and the team was struggling scoring runs, it might be a different scenario."
Romine went 0-for-2 in Wednesday night's 3-0 loss to the Royals and is 6-for-16 in September with two RBIs and three runs scored.
Rookie shortstop Eugenio Suarez, who has handled the bulk of the starts since his June callup, is healthy, according to Ausmus.
Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. Read Beck's Blog and follow him on Twitter @beckjason. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.