Leyland lifts righty Porcello despite 1-hit outing

PITTSBURGH — Detroit Tigers manager Jim Leyland cut off the question before it was finished.

"No, no, no, no," was the answer he gave to whether he considered letting Rick Porcello finish off the Pirates in the ninth inning Sunday.

Legitimate question, since Porcello had allowed only one hit and threw 84 pitches in eight innings in helping the Tigers to a two-run lead.

Although Jose Valverde gave Tigers fans a scare when the first two batters of the ninth inning reached base before preserving the 2-0 victory to snap a five-game slide, Leyland was adamant he would make that move every time.

"To me, it's a no-brainer," Leyland said. "Your closer is supposed to be better than your starter after eight innings, in my opinion."

Leyland understood the second-guessing. And maybe if the Tigers had led by a larger margin, he would have left Porcello in, but he knew his team desperately needed a win.

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