CHICAGO -- Carlos Guillen's behind-the-back flip to start a double play Saturday night, in a 3-2 comeback victory over the White Sox, was still out in front on the list of Major League highlights Sunday morning. To the Tigers second baseman, though, his no-look toss to shortstop Ramon Santiago was just a natural reaction to try to get an out.
"I just felt at the moment that was the only way I had a chance," Guillen said. "I tried to put the ball right in front of Santi so he can at least make one out."
It isn't a play they practice, Guillen and Santiago both said. It's just a play of faith by Guillen that Santiago will be there, and a reaction by Santiago to be ready in case Guillen can actually pull it off.
The result was two outs and an escape from a third-inning jam on what could have easily been an infield single. Back-to-back singles from Chicago's Juan Pierre and Omar Vizquel had put runners on first and second with one out for Alex Rios, who swung at the first pitch he saw from Rick Porcello and hit a strong grounder up the middle. Guillen ran it down behind second base and then flipped it toward the third-base side of the bag.
It required almost as deft of a play from Santiago to complete it. He ran down the ball two steps before he got to the bag, then had to change direction to reach the bag and fire to first for the third out.
"I just wanted to be ready to catch the ball and get one out at least, because Carlos made an outstanding play," Santiago said Sunday. "I don't know if he's going to throw here or here, so I was kind of [waiting]. If I go to the base right away, I don't get that. But it was hit pretty hard and I stayed back. He gave me a good feed."
It's actually the second time this season that Guillen has pulled off that play. He had a similar flip to rookie shortstop Danny Worth to get a force out against the Blue Jays on July 24, the same night he strained his right calf and landed on the disabled list.
"This one I got more on it, because I think it was to the other base of the base," Guillen said. "The other one was mostly up the middle. I messed it up a little bit."
Valverde trying to overcome ab strain
CHICAGO -- Tigers manager Jim Leyland hoped to have closer Jose Valverde available for a save situation Sunday, but instead missed him for a third straight game with a mild abdominal strain on his right side.
Valverde said Sunday morning he planned to throw in the bullpen or play catch and see how he felt. He was cautiously optimistic, but he was notably absent when Tigers relievers went out to the bullpen Sunday afternoon. Phil Coke pitched the ninth inning Sunday instead to finish off the 13-8 win.
Leyland said after the win that there was hope Valverde would be available Monday. Just in case, though, the Tigers called up an extra reliever, adding left-hander Daniel Schlereth from Triple-A Toledo.
Valverde said he didn't know how he got hurt, only that he felt it Friday night. He wasn't available for that game, either, though Chicago's win meant he was never needed.
"I have no idea," Valverde said when asked how he injured it.
An MRI exam showed nothing serious, he said, so he hoped to be back as soon as possible.
"They pay me to play," Valverde said, "not to watch the game."
Schlereth called up to boost Tigers' bullpen
CHICAGO -- The Tigers' injury-shortened, workload-extended bullpen will be getting some help for the team's four-game series at Yankee Stadium. Detroit recalled left-hander Daniel Schlereth from Triple-A Toledo and optioned outfielder Jeff Frazier back to the Mud Hens.
Schlereth is expected to join the Tigers in New York on Monday. The team may or may not have closer Jose Valverde available depending on his mild abdominal strain. They also will have to watch Phil Coke after he closed out the Tigers' two wins against the White Sox on Saturday and Sunday.
Schlereth, part of the return package from Arizona in last December's Edwin Jackson trade, pitched in four games for the Tigers during his two-week stint in Detroit last month. The 24-year-old former first-round Draft pick gave up an earned run and two inherited runners on seven hits over 3 2/3 innings with two walks and a strikeout.
The Tigers called up Frazier when they were in need of offensive punch at the end of July, but had used him sparingly at best in recent days. He went 5-for-22 with a double, an RBI and five strikeouts in eight appearances.
Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.