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Soria stretching out throwing sessions

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CHICAGO -- Joakim Soria appears to be getting close to throwing off a mound in his effort to rehab from the left oblique strain that landed him on the disabled list three weeks ago.

Soria was not scheduled to throw Sunday after doing so on four of the previous five days. He's scheduled to throw again Monday in Cleveland, potentially progressing to throwing off the front of the mound. It's not a full mound session, but it's a step in that direction.

Ausmus said earlier this weekend that Soria still feels some soreness in the oblique near the end of his sessions, but that he's progressing further and further out in his throwing before he feels it. It's not full health, but the Tigers are taking it as progress.

The Tigers have been trying to fill Soria's role mainly with Jim Johnson, signed earlier in the month after being released by Oakland. The former O's and A's closer entered Saturday's nightcap in the eighth inning with a 5-0 lead following an Adam Eaton leadoff single off Blaine Hardy, but loaded the bases with an Alexei Ramirez double and Jose Abreu walk. All four runs scored, three of them on Dayan Viciedo's home run off of Joba Chamberlain.

Before that, the Tigers' bullpen had given up a lone earned run over its previous 19 1/3 innings, covering a seven-game stretch.

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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