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Tigers have faith in reliever Alburquerque

Tigers have faith in reliever Alburquerque

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DETROIT -- The Tigers know the deal with Al Alburquerque; he's a high-strikeout reliever who will also give up a high amount of walks. They don't expect him to be a model of strike command in his return, but they believe he's better than he was when his walks led to his demotion last month.

As much as the Tigers have struggled to find a right-handed reliever to complement Joaquin Benoit, they're willing to live with what Alburquerque brings to the table.

"I don't think he's going to be pinpoint," team president/general manager Dave Dombrowski said. "That's not how he was even when he was effective. He feels good about himself. He feels like he's ready to come back here and help us."

Alburquerque didn't allow a ball out of the infield to any of the six Red Sox batters he faced Friday. His two walks were intentional, and the first run he allowed came on a ground ball that was deep enough for Jarrod Saltalamacchia to beat the throw home on a close call at the plate. The second run, however, scored on a wild pitch.

"I thought he threw the ball fine his first time back," manager Jim Leyland said.

Alburquerque said Saturday he's trying to relax and pitch without getting hung up on mechanics. If he can do that, he'll take his chances.

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

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