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Greene, Ryan, Rondon solidify Tigers bullpen

Chris McCosky
The Detroit News
Shane Greene throws during the ninth inning Thursday.

Detroit – It feels sorted out now, doesn’t it?

Granted, it’s a relatively short sample size, but since Shane Greene, Kyle Ryan and Bruce Rondon have been added to the mix, the Tigers’ bullpen, particularly its back end, is developing some swagger.

“This four-game series against Seattle is probably as good a stretch as we’ve seen from the bullpen,” manager Brad Ausmus said after the pen posted another strong five innings of work Thursday in the 5-4 victory.

Since Mark Lowe had his meltdown in Kansas City on Saturday, the Tigers relievers have pitched 23 innings and allowed just three runs. Greene, Kyle Ryan, Justin Wilson and closer Francisco Rodriguez put Wednesday night’s 5-1 win over the Mariners in lockdown, posting 4.2 innings of perfection – no runs, no hits, no runners.

On Thursday, a home run by Nelson Cruz off Rondon was the only run allowed in five innings – Rondon, Alex Wilson, Greene and Ryan doing the work.

“We have more stability since Greene has joined us,” Rodriguez said. “He has taken a lot of pressure off guys. It helps a lot. And he’s thrown the ball extremely well. It’s been a huge difference.”

Since moving to the pen on June 4, Greene has given up four runs in 11 innings, three in one rough outing against the Royals. He has struck out 14 and walked three, with opponents hitting .178 against him.

But he’s not the only one getting it done.

Ryan, since being recalled on June 2, has allowed a run in 5.2 innings, with six strikeouts. Left-handed hitters are 1-for-10 against him. He ended the 10th inning Thursday with a three-pitch strikeout of Robinson Cano.

Justin Wilson since May 31 has allowed two runs in 8.2 innings with eight strikeout and opponents hitting .172.

Alex Wilson, since May 31, has allowed two runs in 13 innings with nine strikeouts.

Tigers have ‘different swag,’ sweep Mariners

Rondon had pitched three scoreless innings since being called up over the weekend before giving up the home run to Cruz. Still, he gave the Tigers a solid 1.2 innings.

And Rodriguez, since June 1 has allowed two runs in eight innings, with 11 strikeouts and six saves out of seven chances.

“It gives us a lot of options,” Rodriguez said. “You can’t rely on just two or three guys every day when you have the lead. You’re going to get to a point where you are going to hit a wall. In order to keep everybody fresh, it helps out a lot.”

Ausmus, though he would like to have to use the bullpen a little less, has been pleased.

“Greene has helped, because Lowe has been struggling a little bit,” Ausmus said. “If we can get Lowe back, we’ll be in really good shape, now also with the addition of Rondon. I think, yeah, I am a little more comfortable.

“I should say we’ve got a few more options right now toward the back end of the game, so in that sense, it’s more comfortable.”

Twitter @cmccosky