Monday, October 8, 2012

Detroit Tigers manager Jim Leyland stands behind reliever Joaquin Benoit

Joaquin Benoit
Jim Leyland believes in Joaquin Benoit.
"No, not at all, I'm not concerned," the Detroit Tigers manager said after reliever Benoit's rough outing in Game 2 of the ALDS against Oakland. "He's our guy. I totally believe in him."
Benoit, 35, pitched an adventuresome eighth inning Sunday, allowing two earned runs on two hits as Detroit fell from a 3-2 lead to a 4-3 deficit.
One of the runs allowed by the right-handed Benoit was a home run by left-handed-swinging Josh Reddick, Oakland's leading home run hitter during the regular season.
Benoit's tendency to give up home runs soured Tigers fans on him during the second half of the regular season.
But Leyland remains in the 6-foot-3 Benoit's corner.
"I totally believe in our entire bullpen," Leyland said as the Tigers, who rallied to win Game 2 5-4, exhaled with a 2-0 lead in the best-of-five series that resumes Tuesday at Oakland. "And that's not going to change. That's our team. That's what we are, that's who we are. And Benoit was fantastic 14 hours ago (in Game 1).
"So, no, I don't have any questions about that whatsoever."
Benoit allowed one hit, but no runs, in the eighth inning, in relief of Justin Verlander, in Game 1 Saturday.
Benoit allowed four home runs before the 2012 All-Star break, 10 following it as the Tigers won the AL Central Division championship.

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