NEW YORK -- Tigers manager Jim Leyland decided to give Torii Hunter a rest on Saturday. Hunter, who had played every day since Tuesday, wanted to be in the starting lineup, but Leyland wasn't budging.
Leyland said it's just a matter of giving Hunter a rest, since he's been playing so much.
"I told him, 'That's my call, and I'm not playing you today,'" Leyland said.
Andy Dirks started in right field on Saturday.
That meant Hunter, 38, wouldn't be digging into the batter's box to face the Mets' hard-throwing right-hander Matt Harvey.
But Leyland did end up using Hunter as pinch-hitter in the seventh inning of the Tigers' 3-0 win.
After a single by Matt Tuiasosopo, who started in left field, Mets manager Terry Collins brought Scott Rice in to pitch in relief of Harvey. Leyland sent Hunter up to pinch-hit for Dirks with two outs and the bases loaded. Detroit was looking to pad its 2-0 lead.
Hunter hit a ground ball to shortstop that Omar Quintanilla fielded and flipped to Daniel Murphy for the force out. Leyland immediately came out to argue that Tuiasosopo's foot slid in ahead of Quintanilla's flip.
Hunter stayed in the game, taking over for Dirks in right field. He ended up going 0-for-2 at the plate.
Soreness from HBP sidelines Tigers' Iglesias
NEW YORK -- Jose Iglesias was not available to play on Saturday against the Mets, Tigers manager Jim Leyland said. The shortstop was hit just above the left elbow in the ninth inning by Mets pitcher David Aardsma on Friday night and the aftermath lingered.
"He's sore, he can't bend his arm," Leyland said. "Hopefully he'll be OK by tomorrow, possibly -- but if we have to rest him until we get home, that's fine."
Leyland also said there was swelling on Friday night.
Iglesias went 0-for-3 on Friday night, but the 23-year-old has been hitting well of late. He's hitting .455 with two doubles, an RBI and three runs in his last seven games. Iglesias, who the Tigers acquired in a deal with the Red Sox at the non-waiver Trade Deadline, leads American League rookies with a .319 batting average with both Boston and Detroit this season.
Ramon Santiago started at shortstop in Iglesias' place on Saturday.
• Brayan Pena was Detroit's starting catcher on Saturday, which means Victor Martinez wasn't starting behind the plate for a second game in a row. Martinez caught for the first time since Aug. 4, 2011, on Friday night against the Mets. Leyland said aside from some possible soreness, Martinez was physically fine on Saturday.
"As good as shape as you could be in, that's Victor," Leyland said. "He might be a little sore. He's not complaining. He's mad because he's not playing today, really. But that's OK."
Leyland said there's a chance Martinez could catch on Sunday.
• Leyland said Bruce Rondon and Drew Smyly were deemed unavailable out of the bullpen on Saturday. Rondon has pitched 1 2/3 innings in the past two games, while Smyly has pitched two innings over the past three games.
Chris Iseman is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.