Laird leaves with lower back spasms
Tigers catcher Gerald Laird left Saturday’s game against the Astros in the first inning and is day-to-day with lower back spasms after coming out from behind home plate to corral a ball in the dirt.
Laird had to spring out from his crouch to get to Tigers starter Alfredo Figaro’s breaking ball in the dirt on an 0-1 pitch to Carlos Lee. He walked out towards the mound to talk with Figaro, but eventually hunched over in front the mound as manager Jim Leyland and head athletic trainer Kevin Rand emerged from the Tigers dugout.
Laird was walking around, but in obvious discomfort, and was moving slowly as he walked back into the dugout and towards the clubhouse. He was replaced by Dusty Ryan, who was called up last weekend from Triple-A Toledo to help spell Laird and provide some more days off to keep him from wearing down.
Rand attended to Laird during Friday’s series opener against the Astros, too, after Laird took a ball in the groin area. Laird stayed in the game.
Laird entered Saturday batting .233 on the season with three home runs and 17 RBIs in 62 games. He has thrown out 14 of 38 would-be basestealers this season, good for a 36.8 percent rate.