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09/27/09 3:13 PM ET

Seay set to return for Tigers-Twins set

Detroit reliever was bothered by sore left pectoral muscle

CHICAGO -- Tigers lefty reliever Bobby Seay is expected to be available Monday for the start of Detroit's critical four-game series against Minnesota, providing manager Jim Leyland with his primary relief option against the Twins' left-handed hitters.

Seay, who suffered a mild left pectoral strain Thursday at Cleveland, said he felt significantly better before he worked out without problem Saturday at U.S. Cellular Field. He did not play catch on Sunday, but plans to do so Monday afternoon and be available for the series opener that night.

That makes a big difference for the Tigers next week, when Twins left-handed hitters Joe Mauer and Jason Kubel present a matchup question for Leyland in the late innings. Without Seay, Leyland turned to Taiwanese rookie Fu-Te Ni to retire A.J. Pierzynski in the eighth inning Friday night against the White Sox and again Sunday. The Tigers also brought Clay Rapada to the active roster.

The Tigers probably wouldn't use all three left-handers in the same game, but for depth purposes, Leyland would be glad to have them all available.

"It's probably not a big difference," Leyland said, "but it gives you a little flexibility. If you have to use somebody two days in a row, you still have somebody if you want to hold somebody back."

Seay said he felt the injury Thursday on his first pitch to Travis Hafner, his second and final batter of his outing. Seay tried to finish out the at-bat, giving up a base hit, but eventually had trouble lifting his arm to throw.

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