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04/19/09 12:30 AM ET

Porcello gets second start vs. Mariners

Detroit (6-5) at Seattle (8-4), 4:10 p.m. ET

SEATTLE -- Rick Porcello has had his big league baptism. He's had plenty of time to consider what he did right, wrong and what he needs to improve. Now, he's ready for the start of the rest of his career.

Porcello, the Tigers' 20-year-old rookie right-hander, starts on Sunday afternoon against the Mariners in the final game of the Tigers' three-game series. In his Major League debut April 9, Porcello lost, 6-2, to Minnesota. He allowed nine hits and four runs in five innings.

"After the first couple pitches I was OK. That [debut nerves] wasn't really too big of a factor," Porcello said. "I think each time I go out, it's going to get better and better."

He was scheduled to return to the mound on Tuesday against the White Sox, but that game was rained out. Manager Jim Leyland decided to push back his start to Sunday, 10 days after his first.

"I tried to stay within myself as best I could," Porcello said. "For the most part, the pitches I threw were the right pitches. But make a mistake here and it's up and he they hit it. I think that's the biggest difference, guys hit mistakes. The fewer mistakes you make, usually you're going to be better off. Guys definitely capitalize up here."

Porcello faces a team that doesn't hit a lot of home runs but takes a small-ball approach. The Mariners lead the league in bunts, both for sacrifices and for hits.

"There is no easy team out there," he added. "Offenses try to do different things, but they all have their strategies. They're all tough to beat. You have to understand what the hitters are trying to do and what their tendencies are and pitch to that."

Pitching matchup
DET: RHP Rick Porcello (0-1, 7.20 ERA)
Porcello's Major League debut Thursday at Toronto turned on a pair of home runs that sent him to defeat. However, he still gave a good look at the poise and pitching acumen that convinced the Tigers he could handle the jump from Class A ball to the Majors at the age of 20. Having his second start pushed back not only kept Detroit's top three starts in line, it gives the Tigers a chance to conserve innings on their young starter, who pitched just 125 innings last year at Lakeland.

SEA: RHP Carlos Silva (0-1, 6.00 ERA)
Silva had his best outing in several months, holding the Angels to two runs over seven innings in the Mariners' home opener. Unfortunately for him, the Mariners also scored two runs while he was on the mound, so he had to settle for a no-decision. The good news is he had command of the strike zone and kept the ball down most of the time, resulting in just six outfield putouts.

Right-hander Adam Everett was not available on Saturday because he was sick. His status for Sunday is uncertain. ... Gary Sheffield, who played for the Tigers the past two seasons, hit his career 500th home run Friday with the Mets. He is the 25th player to join the 500-homer club. "I called him today twice. He called me back but I missed him," said Leyland, who also had Sheffield on his 1997 World Series champion Florida Marlins team. Sheffield, who hit 44 home runs for the Tigers, is the sixth player to have at least 500 home runs, 1,500 RBIs, 2,500 hits and 200 stolen bases. He joins Hank Aaron, Barry Bonds, Frank Robinson, Reggie Jackson and Willie Mays. "That's a first-ballot Hall of Famer, I would think," Leyland said. "There are only five guys who have done that, RBI, home runs and stolen bases. That's pretty good." ... Right-hander Joel Zumaya allowed two hits and struck out one in two scoreless innings on Saturday for the Triple-A Toledo Mudhens. He is on a injury-rehab assignment with a sore right shoulder.

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Up next
• Monday: Off-day
• Tuesday: Tigers (Armando Galarraga, 2-0, 0.68) at Angels (Jered Weaver, 1-1, 3.09), 10:05 p.m. ET
• Wednesday: Tigers (TBD) at Angels (Joe Saunders, 2-1, 2.18), 10:05 p.m. ET

Bob Sherwin is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.