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News » Detroit Tigers Inside Pitch 2009-04-22

Detroit Tigers Inside Pitch 2009-04-22

Detroit Tigers Inside Pitch 2009-04-22
It has to cheer Dontrelle Willis and the Tigers a lot to finally have some good news to rebuild his hopes on.

Willis pitched seven innings in his first rehab appearance, and while he gave up four runs Tuesday, it was the lack of walks that was most heartening in his performance for high Class A Lakeland.

He did not walk a batter in his first outing since being placed on the disabled list in late March with an anxiety disorder -- a malady about which he remains unclear.

Willis was throwing first-pitch strikes. He was throwing strikes period, 58 of 75 pitches in fact, and he retired the first nine batters he faced. And though he gave up four runs, two were unearned. The only extra-base hit was a two-run home run.

His next stop will be Class AA Erie, where Willis is scheduled to start Sunday. If he does well there, and in a presumed assignment for Class AAA Toledo, he could come up to give the Tigers a left-handed presence their rotation currently lacks.

Detroit invested a three-year contract in Willis that still has two seasons to run. It wants him to succeed, and now it appears as though he might have a chance.

ANGELS 4, TIGERS 3: Detroit's relief pitching had been sturdy since the first two games of the season, but it broke down at the end of Tuesday's defeat. Brandon Lyon lost on an RBI double in the eighth off the center field wall by Gary Mathews Jr. Detroit got a pair of home runs from Curtis Granderson leading off the first and third innings. Armando Galarraga started for the Tigers but struggled with his command and left after five innings with the score tied, 3-3.

Author:Fox Sports
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Added: April 22, 2009

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