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Lobstein starts appearance shaky but settles down

TAMPA, Fla. -- Left-hander Kyle Lobstein, who is trying to earn a bullpen spot as a Rule 5 Draft pick, settled down after a tough start in his third Grapefruit League appearance, on Sunday against the Yankees at George M. Steinbrenner Field.

The 23-year-old went into the game with a 9.82 ERA, started the bottom of the fourth and immediately gave up an infield single to Jayson Nix and a home run to Chris Stewart. However, he retired six straight after that, including striking out the side in the fifth.

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"He threw pretty well," said bench coach Gene Lamont, who managed the 10-3 split-squad loss. "It looked like he just hung one pitch, the only real bad pitch that he made. But I was happy with the way he threw. As a Rule 5 guy, he's someone we're surely going to look at. It's not as though he's an established guy who has all spring. And I'm sure he knows that. He threw the ball better."

Lobstein ranked second in the Double-A Southern League in strikeouts last season, with 129. He was taken by the Mets from the Rays organization in the Rule 5 Draft and immediately traded to the Tigers for cash considerations.

The Tigers are obligated to keep Lobstein on the active big league roster all season, otherwise they have to put him on waivers and, if he clears, offer him back to his original team before he could be sent to the Minors.

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