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Tigers call up lefty reliever Hardy from Triple-A

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DETROIT - The Detroit Tigers made a move Sunday morning to try to bolster their struggling bullpen, recalling lefty Blaine Hardy from Triple-A Toledo.

Detroit's bullpen has been a major factor in its recent 8-17 stretch. Even in Saturday's win over Minnesota, the Tigers allowed eight runs in the last three innings to turn an 11-1 blowout to a 12-9 nailbiter.

Hardy, who will be available for Sunday's game, has never pitched in the majors. In two partial seasons with the Mud Hens, he has pitched effectively as both a starter and reliever. This year, he is 3-2 with a 2.68 ERA in 20 games, including six starts.

The 27-year-old will pitch in long relief for the Tigers, something they haven't had since Luke Putkonen's elbow injury. To make room for Hardy, Detroit optioned reliever Corey Knebel to Toledo. Knebel, Detroit's first-round pick in the 2013 draft, was rushed to the majors to help with the bullpen crisis, but posted a 6.75 ERA in six games.

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