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Jackson might miss another day or two with abdominal issue

The Sports Xchange
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--CF Austin Jackson (abdominal soreness) may miss part or all of Detroit's series at Cleveland, which starts Tuesday. "I will get more treatment, but no physical activity," Jackson said of Detroit's day off Monday. "It really is just day-to-day. It's still not where I want it to be. Hopefully it will be in the Cleveland series, but you have to be realistic with yourself and not try to push it too much." Jackson tried doing some running and light hitting during the weekend, but the ailment that caused him to miss the Tigers' last four games limited him.

"When I went to run, you know, try to get up to 80 percent at least, it didn't feel that good," Jackson said. "It was still kind of hurting to run, so that's why I'm thinking maybe a couple more days."

Manager Jim Leyland has already said he'll be cautious as to when Jackson returns. Jackson's status will be re-examined Tuesday.

--RHP Jose Valverde is expected to be ready to close again Tuesday after missing five games with a sore lower back. Valverde threw Sunday but wasn't pain-free enough to permit him to be used in that afternoon's game against Pittsburgh. He has been walking better in the clubhouse, and manager Jim Leyland is hopeful he'll be ready to go when Detroit visits Cleveland for a three-game set.

--RHP Luis Marte pitched three innings of one-hit, shutout relief Monday in Toledo's 3-1 loss to Syracuse in an International League game. If he feels fine Tuesday, he could rejoin the Tigers before the weekend. Marte is on a rehab assignment after suffering a left hamstring injury in his final spring training appearance, costing him his spot on the Tigers' Opening Day roster. The Tigers were hoping to have him throw 40 to 55 pitches in preparation for returning to the majors Friday. He needed just 35 pitches (22 strikes) to get through the game's final three innings, so it's possible he could be ready to pitch again Thursday if necessary.

--RHP Rick Porcello hopes to rebound off a pair of poor starts when he pitches Tuesday against Cleveland. Porcello went five innings two starts ago and only four in his last outing as high pitch-counts and rough results forced him from games. Porcello started against Cleveland five times last year and was 1-1 with a 6.41 ERA. Over his career, Porcello is 5-1 in 12 starts against the Indians.

--RHP Max Scherzer said his changeup was the key to his 15-strikeout game Sunday. "I threw it a lot more and had very good command of it," Scherzer said. "I could throw it for a strike or just out of the zone and make it look like a strike. That helped a lot. I was able to generate missed swings with it. Strikeouts are nice, don't get me wrong. They're fun. But I was just looking to get quick outs." Scherzer equaled the Tigers record for most strikeouts by a right-handed pitcher (Paul Foytack, 1956) and was one shy of the most ever by a Detroit pitcher (LHP Mickey Lolich, twice).

BY THE NUMBERS
41 -- Strikeouts of Pittsburgh batters by Detroit pitchers last weekend, a Tigers record for a three-game series. It is also the first time Detroit pitchers have fanned 12 or more in three straight games (12, 12, 17).

QUOTE TO NOTE
"You look at a game like that and just say 'wow.' At one point, I was doing the math in my head, wondering if he had a chance at 20 strikeouts. We needed that, and for Max to be dominant, that's the kind of pitcher he is. When he's right, guys can't hit his stuff." -- RHP Justin Verlander, who fanned 12 Friday night in a one-hitter, marveling at RHP Max Scherzer's 15-strikeout performance in seven innings Sunday against Pittsburgh.

Copyright (C) 2012 The Sports Xchange. All Rights Reserved.

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