Mike Pelfrey gives bullpen some help -- and more is on the way

HOUSTON -- Mike Pelfrey was on the ropes for much of his second outing with the Detroit Tigers, walking four of the first 10 batters he faced and finding himself in two bases-loaded jams in the first two innings. The fact that he was able to last six innings -- let alone exit the game with only a 1-0 deficit -- was remarkable.

And it was a necessary, too -- despite the Tigers' 1-0 loss to Dallas Keuchel and the Houston Astros -- considering the heavy workload handled by the Tigers' bullpen as of late.

The good news?

Detroit has some arms on the way, with two reliable relievers making their way through Triple-A rehab assignments and expected to rejoin the team soon.

Alex Wilson, who pitched in back-to-back games for Triple-A Toledo on Wednesday and Thursday, will rejoin the team on Saturday, manager Brad Ausmus announced after the game. The 29-year-old was derailed this spring with right rotator cuff capsulitis, but was a critical -- and versatile -- member of the team’s bullpen last year.

Left-hander Blaine Hardy was another incumbent whose strong 2015 performance made him a good bet for the 2016 Opening Day roster. Hardy, however, was sidelined with a left-shoulder impingement on March 25, though he also is expected to be back up with the big club soon.

Hardy is considered slightly behind Wilson in his recovery, though he was slated to make the second of back-to-back appearances Friday night after pitching a scoreless inning on Thursday.

Beyond the pending bullpen additions -- which resulted in Buck Farmer being optioned to Toledo following the game and will require another reassignment -- the Tigers will receive reinforcement in the outfield with Cameron Maybin nearing a return from a broken left wrist suffered in spring training.

Ausmus said he was expecting to check in with Triple-A manager Lloyd McClendon following Friday’s game to get a progress report on the 28-year-old outfielder, who is expected to platoon in center with Anthony Gose.