August 30th, 2009

Dontrelle battles command in rehab outing

Dontrelle Willis walked eight batters over four-plus innings in his rehab start for Triple-A Toledo Sunday night, taking the loss against the Pirates’ Triple-A Indianapolis affiliate.

Willis, whose previous rehab outing was shortened by an injured right hip, was not in sync from the start. He walked four of the first five batters he faced, the exception in that stretch being a single, to allow two runs before a two-out single plated two more runs. He faced just one batter over the minimum over his next three innings before he walked all three batters he faced in the fifth.

Mud Hens manager Larry Parrish made the pitching change at that point. Willis threw 44 of his 99 pitches for strikes.

Inge's knee still hurting

If you were hoping Brandon Inge’s leaping grab and throw to first for the final out of Sunday’s win might be a sign that his left knee is feeling better, it’s not quite that way. Though Inge said last week that he felt like the prolotherapy injections had his knee feeling better, Inge said Sunday he’s still hurting whenever he moves around. He made that play knowing he was probably going to pay for it.

“I knew I could get up,” Inge said after the game. “It’s just one of those things where I know it’s going to be pain, so I just have to deal with it.”

So that means he was in pain after the jump, but not before? No, that wasn’t it.

“To be honest with you, anytime I’m running, jumping, throwing, I feel pain,” Inge said. “I just have to deal with it.”

Sunday: Tigers vs. Rays

Not that it was a surprise, but Gerald Laird will catch Justin Verlander in his first start since their well-publicized exchange in the visiting dugout at Angel Stadium last Monday. Though the Rays start a right-hander in Jeff Niemann, the preference holds that manager Jim Leyland wants Laird to catch Verlander because of the results, Monday’s sixth inning notwithstanding.


  1. Granderson, CF
  2. Polanco, 2B
  3. Guillen, LF
  4. Cabrera, 1B
  5. Huff, DH
  6. Inge, 3B
  7. Thomas, RF
  8. Laird, C
  9. Santiago, SS

SP: Justin Verlander


  1. Jason Bartlett, SS
  2. Carl Crawford, LF
  3. Ben Zobrist, RF
  4. Carlos Pena, 1B
  5. Pat Burrell, DH
  6. Evan Longoria, 3B
  7. Gregg Zaun, C
  8. Akinori Iwamura, 2B
  9. B.J. Upton, CF

P: Jeff Niemann