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Leyland happy about defense vs. basestealers

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LAKELAND, Fla. -- Tigers manager Jim Leyland isn't going to overplay Spring Training results. If there's one stat he will play up a little, it'll be the stinginess they're showing with would-be basestealers.

When Alex Avila threw out Carlos Ruiz on Sunday, followed by Brad Davis throwing out Ender Inciarte, it improved Tigers catchers to 4-for-5 in retiring basestealers through three games this spring. Four different catchers, including backups Brayan Pena and Bryan Holaday, have thrown out runners at second.

Controlling the running game was one of the first points Leyland made when camp began nearly two weeks ago.

"The catchers have done a nice job so far throwing people out," Leyland said. "We're doing a pretty good job of holding [runners] halfway tight."

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