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Cleveland — Tigers reliever Johnny Barbato walked off the mound with his head down, and he never looked up as walked down the steps and into the clubhouse.

He had just been tagged for five runs in the seventh inning, giving up a grand slam home run to Yonder Alonso in Friday's 10-0 loss to the Indians at Progressive Field.

But the hardest part of his night was yet to come.

He had to go into manager Ron Gardenhire's office and tell him his shoulder has been hurting for three months.

"It's tough," said Barbato, who was placed on the disabled list. "It sucks. But I can't keep doing it. Going out and doing what I did today, it's not good for the team. I had to say something."

Barbato, who started the season on the DL with elbow discomfort, said the pain was in the back of his shoulder. He will undergo an MRI tomorrow. He told Gardenhire he's been pitching through the pain for three months.

"It's been a while, but it's been on and off so I kept thinking I could pitch through it," Barbato said. "I just can't do it anymore. Take a step back, get it situated and see what I have to do to get back on the field."

The Tigers are recalling right-hander Artie Lewicki from Toledo. 

In another move, they sent utility man Ronny Rodriguez back to Toledo to make room for left-handed starting pitcher Francisco Liriano. Liriano will be activated off the disabled list and start for the Tigers Saturday.

cmccosky@detroitnews.com

twitter.com/cmccosky

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