Jose Valverde of the Detroit Tigers stops throwing in the ninth inning as Ramon Santiago, Alex Avila and Prince Fielder come to investigate against the Chicago White Sox at U.S. Cellular Field in Chicago, Illinois. The Tigers defeated the White Sox 10-8. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Detroit's closer left Tuesday's game with what appears to be a minor injury.
Valverde entered the final frame with the Tigers ahead by four and, after getting two quick outs, allowed a single and double to Paul Konerko and A.J. Pierzynski, respectively.
With Alex Rios at the plate, Valverde threw a fastball to get the count to 3-1 before stepping off the back of the mound as Leyland and trainer Kevin Rand came on the field.
We now have more information on exactly what Valverde's trouble is:
Valverde day to day with lower back strain. Benoit the likely closer for now unless matchups dictate otherwise. #Tigers— Jason Beck (@beckjason) May 16, 2012
Octavio Dotel took over for Valverde in the ninth inning Tuesday and closed the game out, but not until he had given up a two-run double to Alexei Ramirez. Joaquin Benoit had two saves for the Tigers in 2011 and has been Valverde's top setup man this season. It doesn't sound like Valverde will miss too much time. With all apologies to fans in Minnesota, the Tigers are playing the Twins the next two days, so there might not be any save opportunities anyway.