Tim Lincecum could be available as a reliever in Game 6 and 7

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Tim Lincecum threw 104 pitches in last night’s loss to the Phillies, but manager Bruce Bochy said afterward that the reigning back-to-back Cy Young winner could be available out of the bullpen in Game 6 or Game 7 of the NLCS:

I wouldn’t say he’s finished for the series. If needed, it’s one of these series that all hands are on deck and you have them all ready. He’ll have a couple of days off and he’ll be ready to go.

Lincecum said the same about his availability, noting that Saturday will be his normal “bullpen day” and he could skip that with an eye toward throwing an inning or two in Game 6. Roy Halladay presumably wouldn’t be available to do the same because of his groin injury.

In four seasons Lincecum has made just one career appearance as a reliever and that came on April 2, 2008 when the Giants avoided starting him because of a likely rain delay.

Tigers release Francisco Rodriguez

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Tigers’ right-handed reliever Francisco Rodriguez was released on Friday, per a team announcement. The club recalled fellow right-hander Bruce Rondon from Triple-A Toledo in a corresponding move.

The former closer got the boot after losing his closing role in early May, giving left-hander Justin Wilson a chance to impress at the back end of the bullpen. It’s been a rough year for Rodriguez, who manufactured six blown saves and a 7.82 ERA, 3.9 BB/9 and 8.2 SO/9 over 25 1/3 innings for the Tigers. The final straw, it seemed, came with Robinson Cano‘s grand slam in the seventh inning of the Tigers’ 6-9 loss to the Mariners on Thursday.

While the demotion to a clean-up role and an apparent lack of communication caused Rodriguez considerable frustration, he’s two years removed from his last dominant performance as a major league closer and has shown few signs of returning to form. His recent slump doesn’t diminish the impressive totals he’s racked up over his 16-year career — 437 saves and six All-Star nominations among them — but if he can’t break out of it soon, he may not receive the kind of high leverage role he’s seeking with another big league team, either.

The Red Sox sign Jhonny Peralta

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The Red Sox have signed third baseman Jhonny Peralta to a minor-league deal. He’ll report to Pawtucket.

Peralta, 35, hit a paltry .204/.259/.204 in 58 plate appearances for the Cardinals this year. But with Pablo Sandoval on the disabled list — and ineffective when he hasn’t been — the Sox could use some infield depth.

This is the second former Tiger that former Tigers GM Dave Dombrowski has picked up today, after signing Doug Fister. No word if he’s kicking the tires on Andy Dirks or Brennan Boesch.