DETROIT -- Andre Rienzo was scratched from his start on Friday with a blister on the ring finger of his pitching hand, and right-hander Dylan Axelrod replaced him on the mound in the series opener against the Tigers.
It was the first time a blister has developed on Rienzo's ring finger, though he's experienced them on his middle finger before. He said it developed after his start against the Orioles on Sept. 8. Rienzo allowed five runs on seven hits in four innings in his last start on Saturday.
"I'm a rookie, I want to be strong," Rienzo said. "I don't want to throw in the towel. I don't want to say no, I just wanted to go out there today. I tried to go out there, I know it's a poor excuse, but I can't do it. It hurts a little bit. I told them I could do it next [start]. It's got to rest and finish strong throwing in my last start."
Rienzo said he wants to make two more starts before the end of the season, but the date of his next start has not been determined.
"We wanted to wait, evaluate and then wait and see," pitching coach Don Cooper said. "He's probably going to be going again, we're just not sure when."
Axelrod made his first start since July 10, which was also against the Tigers. He allowed seven runs on 11 hits in 5 2/3 innings in that game, and moved to the bullpen afterward, allowing 13 earned runs in 22 innings in relief.
He didn't fare much better Friday, allowing seven runs on 10 hits over 2 2/3 innings in the 12-5 loss.
Bobby Nightengale is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.