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05/13/08 9:59 PM ET

Willis to throw Saturday in Toledo

Southpaw tires late in strong rehab start

KANSAS CITY -- Dontrelle Willis will stick around with Triple-A Toledo this week rather than returning to the Tigers between starts as he prepares for his next outing Saturday.

Willis resumed his rehab assignment with the Mud Hens Monday night, allowing five runs on seven hits over 5 2/3 innings at Charlotte. Three of those runs and four hits came in Willis' sixth and final inning after the hurler gave up back-to-back solo homers in the second.

"[Mud Hens manager] Larry Parrish [and other club officials] were pretty pleased," Leyland said. "He really pitched well until the sixth. He ran out of gas a little bit."

Willis walked three batters, but one of those was intentional.

The 25-year-old left-hander has made just two starts for the Tigers because of a hyperextended right knee he suffered when he slipped off of the mound April 11 at Chicago. He also tossed 4 2/3 innings of two-run ball with no walks on May 2, but was brought back from rehab afterwards out of concern he had aggravated his knee injury.

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