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08/23/09 2:30 AM ET

Tigers monitoring Porcello's workload

Detroit (65-57) at Oakland (54-68), 4:05 p.m. ET

OAKLAND -- In some ways, Rick Porcello's ejection on Aug. 11 and the five-game suspension that followed was just what he needed.

Tossed with only one inning under his belt after drilling Kevin Youkilis at Fenway Park, Porcello essentially saved himself two starts worth of work.

Porcello is 10-7 with a 4.21 ERA in 117 2/3 innings over 22 starts entering Sunday's series finale against the A's. The 20-year-old threw a total of 125 innings with Class A Lakeland last season.

Manager Jim Leyland said the amount of pitches Porcello and his young pitchers throw isn't the problem -- where they're throwing them is.

"Throwing 95 pitches here is a lot different than 95 in say Double-A," Leyland said. "Here, you get yourself into jams, throw more high-stress pitches. It's different."

Leyland said he's been watching innings for Porcello as well as reliever Ryan Perry. Perry, 22, has thrown 41 1/3 innings in 37 appearances.

"You always try to do that," Leyland said. "Everything has worked out pretty good for us so far. We're doing all right from that standpoint."

Pitching matchup
DET: RHP Rick Porcello (10-7, 4.21 ERA)
Porcello's first outing after his five-game suspension for throwing at Boston's Kevin Youkilis should provide a better idea as to whether he's on his way to a high-strikeout finish. He used the combination of a devastating offspeed pitch and his usual biting sinker to rack up eight strikeouts over 5 2/3 innings against the Mariners on Tuesday at Comerica Park, but he left with trouble on the bases with two outs in the sixth and 93 pitches thrown.

OAK: RHP Brett Tomko (2-2, 4.21 ERA)
The A's signed Tomko to a Minor League contract on Aug. 5. On Monday, he was back in the Majors, facing the same Yankees team that released him earlier this season. The 36-year-old held New York to five hits over five innings, leading the A's to a 3-0 win. "It's been a long road this year," Tomko said. "It was kind of ironic that my first start here came against the Yankees." He'll look to keep things going against the Tigers. He hasn't faced them this season.

Left-hander Bobby Seay has had his way with both right-handed (.204 average against) and left-handed hitters (.217) this season. "That's big," Leyland said. "It's a big plus about him." ... The Tigers are 20-12 against American League West opponents. ... Placido Polanco leads all Major Leaguers with a .377 career average against the A's. ... Ryan Rayburn is batting .372 over his past 19 games. ... Double-A Erie's Thad Weber threw a no-hitter and struck out 10 in a 16-0 win over Akron on Saturday.

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Up next
• Monday: Tigers (Justin Verlander, 13-7, 3.29) at Angels (Jered Weaver, 13-4, 3.89), 10:05 p.m. ET
• Tuesday: Tigers (Jarrod Washburn, 8-7, 3.18) at Angels (John Lackey, 8-6, 4.00), 10:05 p.m. ET
• Wednesday: Tigers (Edwin Jackson, 10-5, 2.86) at Angels (TBD), 3:35 p.m. ET

Adam Loberstein is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.