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Leyland: Coke available in Game 2, just not for Ortiz

MLB.com

DETROIT -- Tigers manager Jim Leyland said he was willing to use Phil Coke in the eighth inning of Game 2 in the American League Championship Series as the Red Sox rallied. He just wasn't going to use him against David Ortiz, 2-for-18 lifetime against Coke.

The lingering question of why the left-hander was warming up, then, drew an answer on Tuesday.

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DETROIT -- Tigers manager Jim Leyland said he was willing to use Phil Coke in the eighth inning of Game 2 in the American League Championship Series as the Red Sox rallied. He just wasn't going to use him against David Ortiz, 2-for-18 lifetime against Coke.

The lingering question of why the left-hander was warming up, then, drew an answer on Tuesday.

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He was warming up, Leyland said, "in case [Joaquin] Benoit let it really get it away. I didn't want him to throw many pitches."

Benoit gave up the game-tying grand slam to Ortiz, but retired the next hitter to end the threat. Fifth starter-turned-reliever Rick Porcello replaced Benoit to begin the bottom of the ninth.

Leyland also answered why he did not load the bases and set up a force play at the plate once the Red Sox put the winning run on third base with nobody out.

"I wasn't going to load the bases because I didn't want to get stuck with [Daniel] Nava hitting for [Will] Middlebrooks with nobody out and [Jacoby] Ellsbury right behind him," Leyland said. "So I took my chances with the last three hitters."

Middlebrooks' spot at the bottom of the Boston order would have come up with two outs had Porcello retired Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Stephen Drew.

Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. Read Beck's Blog and follow him on Twitter @beckjason. T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Postcards from Elysian Fields, and follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger.

Detroit Tigers