Downs, Reed lessen workload in Tigers' bullpen

Downs, Reed lessen workload in Tigers' bullpen

ARLINGTON -- Manager Jim Leyland was delighted with the work delivered by relievers Darin Downs and Evan Reed, who made his Major League debut on Thursday night.

In a strange quirk of baseball fate, the Tigers used three pitchers and all worked 2 2/3 innings. Unfortunately, the first of those segments -- and eight Texas runs -- came from starter Justin Verlander. It was the 2 2/3 that Downs and Reed worked that Leyland appreciated most. Each gave up two hits and a run in their outings, but Verlander's short stay could have easily decimated the bullpen to a much larger degree.

"They saved us, really," Leyland said. "Both of them did a really good job."

It was Leyland's first look at Reed, who was called up when Al Alburquerque was demoted to Triple-A Toledo.

"He's got a good arm, obviously," Leyland said, "and he did well last night. That's about all I can say right now."

Neither was available for Friday night's game, and Leyland said he expected they might need Saturday off as well.

Jim Reeves is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.