Galarraga says he's fine; Laird near return

Galarraga says he's fine; Laird near return

DETROIT -- As the season is winding down, minor bumps and bruises are starting to pile up for the Tigers.

Starting pitcher Armando Galarraga experienced elbow stiffness in his throwing arm during Sunday's 2-1 loss to the Royals, when he tossed five innings and only allowed one earned run but surrendered five walks, which tied his season high. The right-hander felt some pain while warming up, however it subsided as his arm loosened during the game.

Galarraga's next start is slated for Friday in the series opener against the Orioles. As of now, he doesn't expect his elbow stiffness to cause him to be skipped in the rotation.

"It was different than normal soreness," Galarraga said before Monday's series opener against the White Sox. "I don't think I'm going to lose any starts. I'm going to get some treatment."

Tigers manager Jim Leyland said the club could make a callup if the stiffness becomes more of a concern. Coincidentally, left-hander Andy Oliver threw a side session at Triple-A Toledo on Sunday after making his final scheduled start for the Mud Hens on Friday night.

Catcher Gerald Laird was absent from the starting lineup again Monday. He hasn't played since knocking his game-winning home run in Thursday's 10-9, 13-inning win over the Twins.

Laird's back is out of alignment, and he said he planned on receiving treatment on Monday and Tuesday in hopes of starting on Wednesday against White Sox lefty John Danks.

"Laird is doing better," Tigers head athletic trainer Kevin Rand said. "His back is getting better each and every day. We are continuing to treat him and trying to get him 100 percent."

Utility man Ryan Raburn believes he's been battling a bad case of food poisoning, which he's experienced a few times before. He said he felt OK on Sunday morning and then felt light-headed and ill as game time approached, thus being a late scratch after being penciled in to play left field.

Raburn said he was feeling much better Monday morning, and believes whatever he had finally let up overnight.