Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 6/21/12

Lost in the gloom of a Detroit Tigers loss and another player injury was a tiny glimmer of good.

Rick Porcello lasted seven innings Wednesday night and allowed two runs.

What it meant for Detroit was four solid starts in a row, something the club will need going forward if it hopes to be a factor in the AL Central. Winning the division is probably the only way any of the Central teams will make the postseason.

"That was good," manager Jim Leyland said. "I thought he did very well. Now we need a good start from Jacob Turner. That would be beneficial."

The Tigers' starters have been too inconsistent for the club to overcome its hitting deficiencies and defensive liabilities, but with consecutive good starts by Doug Fister, Max Scherzer, Justin Verlander and now Porcello, Detroit could be riding the ball downhill instead of pushing it uphill.

"Rick was good," Leyland said. "His sinker was much better. A sinkerball pitcher is going to give up ground balls and give up some hits. And he gave up some hits."

Porcello got a double-play grounder with the bases loaded and nobody out in the sixth, which brought in the Cardinals' lead run.

A line drive that Jhonny Peralta fluffed let in another run off Bryan Villarreal in the eighth, and the St. Louis Cardinals won 3-1.

But the good news for Detroit was that Porcello pitched a winnable start. He hadn't completed seven innings since going eight on May 1.

And by relying more on his sinker, he's cut his home run pitches down. Porcello has given up just one home run since his May 11 start.

One downside to the day was that catcher Gerald Laird left due to a left hamstring cramp.

The Tigers were going to announce the optioning of rookie Bryan Holaday to the minors after the game to make room for the return of Alex Avila to the active roster. That is now on hold until at least Thursday morning, when the club can better determine the severity of Laird's injury.

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