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05/17/07 11:31 AM ET

Miner makes surprise start in Boston

Right-hander, scheduled to be relief help, opens doubleheader

BOSTON -- Zach Miner was supposed to start at Triple-A Toledo today. A late-night illness and an early-morning flight later, he's taking the mound at Fenway Park.

The Tigers recalled the right-hander Thursday morning to serve as an extra reliever for today's day-night doubleheader against the Red Sox, but a stomach flu to Mike Maroth made Miner the starter for today's 12:35 p.m. ET early game.

Maroth was feeling fine as of Wednesday evening, but began vomiting overnight. He made a brief appearance in the clubhouse to be examined by head athletic trainer Kevin Rand, then was scheduled to be on an afternoon flight back to Detroit to rest. The Tigers aren't returning home until late Thursday night, and they also didn't want the illness spreading around the cramped visitors clubhouse at Fenway.

Miner got his big-league shot last summer when the Tigers lost Maroth to elbow surgery. He won six consecutive starts for Detroit before finishing with a 7-6 record and 4.84 ERA. He's 0-4 with a 5.57 ERA this season for the Mud Hens, but pitched 13 innings without allowing an earned run over his last two starts.

Miner, who flew to Boston early this morning, is expected to be optioned back to Toledo on Friday to make room for Andrew Miller, who will be recalled from Double-A Erie to make his first Major League start Friday night against the Cardinals.

Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.