Leyland impressed with Putkonen's arsenal

Leyland impressed with Putkonen's arsenal

OAKLAND -- Manager Jim Leyland likes what he sees from rookie reliever Luke Putkonen, but he just hasn't had much of an opportunity to see it.

When former Tigers starter David Pauley went nine days between outings last August after his trade from Seattle, it became an mini-saga when he would pitch again. For Putkonen, his first big league stint saw him sit for that same duration before finally getting an opportunity Wednesday at Seattle. He gave up a run in his second inning and took the 2-1 loss, but it wasn't a sign of a rough outing.

Michael Saunders' pinch-hit double in the eighth was the only hit allowed by Putkonen, who struck out two batters in a perfect seventh inning beforehand while powering fastballs at 96 mph.

"I thought the kid threw the ball extremely well," Leyland said. "I was very impressed."