Leyland: Valverde day to day with back issue

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DETROIT (AP) -- Detroit manager Jim Leyland says closer Jose Valverde is day to day with a strained lower back.

Valverde was taken out of Detroit's victory over the Chicago White Sox on Tuesday, and Leyland says if Valverde is unable to pitch, Joaquin Benoit would probably be the primary candidate to close games. However, the Detroit manager says it could depend on the situation and he "wouldn't etch that in stone."

Valverde converted all 49 of his save chances last year but has struggled in 2012. He's 2-1 with a 5.51 ERA this year, and he's already blown two saves in nine chances. He's walked 12 and struck out 14.