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Pena behind the plate for second pitching masterpiece

Pena behind the plate for second pitching masterpiece

DETROIT -- Brayan Pena joined the Tigers as a backup catcher without much of a reputation for handling a pitching staff. In a handful of starts, though, he has caught Anibal Sanchez's record-setting 17-strikeout performance Friday night and Max Scherzer's eight-inning, 12-strikeout duel with Felix Hernandez last week in Seattle.

Whether or not Pena is helping, he sure isn't hurting. He'll get another chance Sunday night when he catches Doug Fister opposite Braves left-hander Mike Minor.

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"I thought Pena did a terrific job [Friday] night calling a game," manager Jim Leyland said.

Pena made a point in Spring Training to catch as many pitchers as he could, both Major Leaguers and prospects, including side sessions if he couldn't catch guys in games.

Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. Read Beck's Blog and follow him on Twitter @beckjason. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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