Originally written July 11, 2013 on Fox Sports Detroit:
DANA WAKIJIFOXSPORTSDETROIT.COM DETROIT -- Tigers starter Rick Porcello, who won his sixth game Wednesday night, dropped the appeal of his six-game suspension Thursday, as expected. Major League Baseball originally suspended Porcello six games for hitting Tampa Bay's Ben Zobrist with a pitch in the first inning June 30. Porcello, who said he thought the suspension might have been reduced to five games, was surprised when he was suspended. "I disagree with the suspension, I'll leave it at that," Porcello said. Because of the All-Star break and the fact that he pitched Wednesday, Porcello will not have to miss a start. He'll miss the remaining four games before the break and one after. "It'll be weird not being out there," Porcello said. "It'll be a long suspension because of the break in there. Gotta make sure that I mentally stay focused as much as I can." RONDON LEARNINGRookie Bruce Rondon definitely has improved since he made his major-league debut, but there's still work to be done. In the seventh inning Wednesday night, Rondon had Gordon Beckham down 0-2 in the count and then gave up a solo home run. "He was trying to bounce it, like he did the one before that he swung at," manager Jim Leyland said. "He didn't get it there. That comes with experience. Sometimes you try to overthrow it a little bit and it stays there." For Rondon, it's a teachable moment. "I brought him in after the game and explained a couple things about the major league level a little bit more," Leyland said. "He's a work in progress but at the same time I'm happy with him. He can really help us. "I just don't want things to slip by without telling the kid, teach him a little bit. We were talking about the pitch to Beckham and he knew. He was trying to do it, he just didn't get it there. He's doing fine." Leyland said for now, the catchers will have to guide Rondon along. "You get in A-ball and throw 102 you don't need much else. Up here it's a little bit different," Leyland said. "So you need guidance from the catcher.Calling the pitches and helping when he gets ahead in the count, like (Wednesday) night making sure you get the ball down and away." PEOPLE ARE WATCHING THE TIGERSThe Tigers are 50-40 and leading the Central Division by 4 12 games so it's not surprising that people are watching. What is surprising is how many people are watching. Wednesday night's game was the second highest-rated game of the season, behind the home opener. FOX Sports Detroit's telecast had a 13.02 household average, peaking at 10 p.m. with a 16.89 average. Opening Day against the New York Yankees April 5 had a 14.91 household rating.
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