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A sometimes-irreverent look at Detroit's Boys of Summer, the Tigers, as they try to return to the top of the American League Central.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

WORLD SERIES: Alex Avila a late scratch for G4 with forearm soreness

DETROIT — Alex Avila was a late scratch from Sunday’s Game 4 lineup for the Tigers, nursing a sore right forearm, after getting hit by a foul ball in Game 1. 

Trainers recommended to Jim Leyland that he not play Sunday. The manager was not sure about whether or not he could be used as a pinch hitter, but scratching him early allowed him to still be available as an injury replacement.

“I’d probably run him in there to catch if I had to. But just as far as I know, the trainer told me just a little bit ago, it’s probably best not to go with him. Obviously, yesterday I talked to the trainer, felt like he was OK to go and OK to play, because I don’t want to go naked with a catcher in the World Series, obviously,” the manager said, meaning avoiding the risk of having to pull him out of a game, then not having another catcher to use, should back-up Gerald Laird get hurt.

“In an emergency, I’m sure he could go back there and catch the ball.”

Avila has a bone bruise that Leyland said was pretty sore.

But the manager did not know what that meant for down the road, should the Tigers win Sunday night, and extend the series to Monday or beyond.

“It’s not broken. I mean, hopefully, or I’ll be embarrassed because I’d hate to think I caught a guy with a broken arm (Saturday) night,” said Leyland, who will get further medical opinions before and after the game. “Well, that (going forward) would be a concern, to be honest with you. But that’s something for a little later, obviously. But it would probably be a concern. ...

“Alex is very tough, without question, one of the toughest I’ve ever managed. If it’s hurting, it’s hurting. But I would have to talk to our medical team about that before — I don’t want to make any silly statements right now about that, because I don’t know the answer.”

Avila, who has caught a franchise-record 20 postseason games, his hitting just .143 (1-for-7) in the World Series, but hit .227 in the first two rounds, with a home run in the Oakland series.

Laird hit .382 vs. right-handed pitchers in the regular season (the Tigers are facing Giants ace Matt Cain, a righty, in Game 4), but only has one hit in 17 postseason at-bats to date.


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