Avila to return for last two games vs. A's

Avila to return for last two games vs. A's

OAKLAND -- Alex Avila was out of the Tigers lineup for the third time in four days, but manager Jim Leyland characterized it as more of a matchup move than an injury concern, saying he'll be in the lineup for the final two games of the series against the Athletics.

Avila sat Friday against Oakland lefty Tommy Milone, giving Gerald Laird his third start of the week. Avila missed Tuesday and Wednesday night at Seattle with patellar soreness in his left knee.

That knee, Avila said Friday, feels "night and day" better than it did a couple days ago. He should be able to keep it that way if he maintains his training program to strengthen the muscles around the knee.