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Veras 'very available' at back of Tigers' bullpen

Veras 'very available' at back of Tigers' bullpen

Veras 'very available' at back of Tigers' bullpen

DETROIT -- In Game 2 of the American League Division Series, Al Alburquerque was called upon as the Tigers'right-handed option out of the bullpen in the eighth inning, filling the regular-season role of Jose Veras.

Alburquerque didn't give up a run over his last nine appearances spanning 8 2/3 innings in the regular season, striking out 11 and walking three. He also inherited 10 runners during that stretch. and only two scored.

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"He's been getting some strikeouts, and he kind of had a hot hand and that's why we went with him," manager Jim Leyland said.

Alburquerque was able to strike out two batters with runners on first and second in the eighth inning of Game 2, but he gave up two singles in the ninth inning and took the loss in the A's 1-0 victory.

Meanwhile, Veras didn't warm up in the bullpen during Game 2, but Leyland said he's still a late-innings option for future games.

"We'll be using Veras in the series," Leyland said. "Absolutely nothing wrong with him. He's 100 percent and very available."

With this year's format change in the Division Series, allowing for two days off if the series extends to five games, both teams can continue to use their best options out of the bullpen.

"It was probably good for Alburquerque to get the day off yesterday," Leyland said on Monday before Game 3.

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. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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