MINNEAPOLIS -- Tigers reliever Denny Bautista is scheduled to have his shoulder checked out after leaving Friday's loss to the Twins with soreness.
Bautista was in the midst of a rough eighth inning at the Metrodome, having surrendered three runs on four straight two-out hits, when he apparently felt something in his shoulder on an 0-1 pitch to Mike Lamb.
"It was the last pitch he threw, a changeup," Tigers manager Jim Leyland said when asked when the soreness surfaced.
After a visit to the mound from head athletic trainer Kevin Rand and Leyland, Bautista was removed. With an 0-2 count on Lamb, Francisco Cruceta came on to throw one pitch for a called third strike.
Leyland added that Bautista was to be examined shortly. No results were immediately available.
Bautista has played a big role in helping the Tigers shape their bullpen without injured setup men Fernando Rodney and Joel Zumaya. The lanky, talented right-hander not only won a roster spot out of Spring Training, but earned the first shot at eighth-inning setup work. After taking the loss in extra innings on Opening Day, he pitched 8 1/3 scoreless innings on three hits over nine appearances before allowing a run on Saturday against the Angels. He had three holds in as many chances.
Bautista's one struggle had been with walks -- seven of them during his scoreless streak and 12 on the season heading into Friday. Three of them came Tuesday against the Yankees, setting him up to allow a run without the benefit of a base hit thanks to a hit by pitch.
When Aquilino Lopez ran into trouble in the seventh inning, Leyland sent out Bautista to give him a low-pressure chance to work on his command.
"I thought it was important to get him back out there tonight after his last outing," Leyland said. "He was one pitch away from [finishing the inning], which would've been really good, and then he felt it on a changeup."
Bautista's injury comes on the heels of a major gain for the Tigers a day earlier, when Cruceta joined the club following a delayed arrival to the United States with visa issues.
Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.