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06/16/08 11:12 PM ET

Zumaya takes step toward return

Right-handed reliever pitches on first of back-to-back days

SAN FRANCISCO -- On the day the Tigers brought back Fernando Rodney from the disabled list, fellow reliever Joel Zumaya tried making another step toward joining him. The hard-throwing right-hander pitched one outing with an unearned run, two hits and two strikeouts on Monday night as part of the final test in his rehab outing at Triple-A Toledo.

Monday was the first half of back-to-back outings to see how Zumaya's arm reacts to pitching on consecutive days. He's scheduled to throw again Tuesday and be evaluated from there. Barring a setback, he's expected to be activated from the disabled list in time for the upcoming weekend series at San Diego, his hometown.

Zumaya needed 18 pitches, 11 of them strikes, to work into and out of a seventh-inning jam. He gave up a double and a single to his first two batters before a passed ball from catcher Dane Sardinha brought in a run and put the potential tying runner on third with nobody out. Zumaya then racked up back-to-back strikeouts before ending the inning with a comebacker.

Zumaya reached 0-2 counts on two batters and 2-0 counts on two others.

Three of the four runs Zumaya has allowed in his four outings for the Mud Hens have been unearned. He has surrendered five hits with two walks and four strikeouts.

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