Detroit Tigers pitcher Rony García leaves game with right shoulder soreness

Detroit Free Press

Detroit Tigers right-hander Rony García waved his arms at the dugout following the 62nd pitch of his first start since June 29.

He couldn’t throw another pitch.

Athletic trainer Doug Teter emerged on the field with two outs in the third inning. Moments later, García left Sunday’s game with right shoulder soreness. The 24-year-old allowed three runs on two hits and three hit batters.

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In Saturday’s loss, right-hander Michael Pineda exited his start after the third inning due to pain around his throwing elbow. Before Sunday’s game, Pineda was placed on the 15-day injured list with right tricep tightness.

After García’s injury, there are three healthy starters on the active roster: Tarik Skubal, Drew Hutchison and Tyler Alexander. The Tigers added Alexander, who began the year in the rotation before becoming a multi-inning reliever after an IL stint of his own, to the rotation as Pineda’s replacement for Thursday’s game in Toronto.

The Tigers activated García from the injured list Sunday.

He hadn’t pitched since June 29 against the San Francisco Giants, spent three weeks on the injured list with right shoulder soreness and never completed a rehab assignment with Triple-A Toledo.

García was supposed to pitch for the Mud Hens on July 17, but the game was suspended in the top of the first inning due to the weather. Then, the Tigers planned for García to rehab with Toledo this weekend.

But that rehab outing didn’t happen, either.

The Tigers needed García to start Sunday to fill injured starter Beau Brieske’s spot in the rotation.

Facing the Twins, García’s four-seam fastball averaged 90.4 mph, a 2.6 mph decrease from his average fastball velocity this season. The average velocities on his sinker, curveball and changeup were significantly slower, too.

Entering Sunday, García posted a 4.28 ERA with 13 walks and 48 strikeouts across 48⅓ innings in 15 games (seven starts) this season. Detroit acquired him in the 2019 Rule 5 draft from the New York Yankees.

Contact Evan Petzold at epetzold@freepress.com or follow him on Twitter @EvanPetzoldRead more on the Detroit Tigers and sign up for our Tigers newsletter.

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