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Pitchers do better job of holding runners against Royals

Pitchers do better job of holding runners against Royals

Pitchers do better job of holding runners against Royals play video for Pitchers do better job of holding runners against Royals

CHICAGO -- After 24 consecutive stolen bases off Detroit pitching, the Tigers slowed down the running game to an extent against Kansas City, throwing out two would-be basestealers in four attempts. One of those steals came on a pitchout when catcher Brayan Pena couldn't handle the throw.

They won't face quite as aggressive of a baserunning team the next few days, but manager Jim Leyland was encouraged from what he saw from his pitchers.

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"I think we did a good job," Leyland said. "We're conscious of it. Sometimes they just get hung up on throwing to the plate and they forget about [the runner]. That's something that we focused on a little better this weekend. We did a pretty good job of it, really."

Some of that, Leyland said, was as simple as varying pickoff moves and varying when to throw over.

"You've got to have different variations -- hold the ball, don't hold the ball, go quicker, hold the ball longer, step off [the mound]," Leyland said. "The thing is, you can't get in a situation where once you come set, you never throw over.

"A lot of times, we throw over on the way up or throw over real quick. That sometimes serves a purpose if you can get a guy who's just taking a lead, because he gets caught leaning. But other times, once you come set, you've still got to throw over. But we did a pretty good job this weekend with it."

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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