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Soria sustains injury to left side during warmups

After locking down ninth inning to send it to extras, reliever exits game

Soria sustains injury to left side during warmups

TORONTO -- Joakim Soria's ninth-inning escape kept the Tigers alive for extra innings. An apparent injury to Soria's left side ensured he wouldn't be a part of it.

Now, with the bullpen having just added Soria for much-needed depth, they're back to their previous strength while they await further word on the extent of Soria's left-side strain.

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"He felt a little better doing some of the manipulations in here in the training room than he did out there," manager Brad Ausmus said. "We've got to wait until [Sunday] to see how he recovers."

The injury had nothing to do with his quick entrance in the eighth with the winning run on third base, one out in a bases-loaded situation, and closer Joe Nathan at 28 pitches. Soria induced a Juan Francisco popout and a Munenori Kawasaki groundout in just five pitches, setting him up to pitch the 10th with the game still tied.

But Soria felt something strain as he tried to deliver his first warmup pitch.

"He said he felt it when he pulled down to throw," Ausmus said.

Soria didn't try another after that, exiting the game after a discussion with Ausmus and head athletic trainer Kevin Rand. Ausmus, in turn, looked out to his bullpen to figure out his options with the game still tied.

On came setup man Joba Chamberlain, who hadn't yet warmed up. By rule, he had all the warmup pitches he needed, but he didn't look comfortable as he readied for an improvised situation.

Chamberlain induced a leadoff ground ball from Danny Valencia, but it was deep enough in the hole where Eugenio Suarez would've needed a strong, quick throw to get him. Suarez slipped on the turf as he tried to throw, giving Valencia a leadoff infield single.

Three pitches later, Nolan Reimold doubled to the wall in left-center field, sending Valencia home with the winning run.

"I didn't know if I do my normal routine and just go," Chamberlain said, "but obviously that's not an excuse. I didn't do my job and that's frustrating. Warming up differently is not an excuse. I have to make better pitches."

The Tigers have used Soria anywhere from the seventh inning to extra-innings in the two weeks since acquiring him from the Rangers for two prospects. His success had given them some much-needed depth, and a closer option on days when Nathan either isn't available or struggles, which became the situation on Saturday.

If Soria misses time, the extra workload likely falls on Al Alburquerque, who got five key outs Friday night in a game in which Anibal Sanchez exited early with a strained right pectoral muscle.

Sanchez underwent tests in Detroit on Saturday, but no further information was available as of early Saturday evening.

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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