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Tigers

Valverde Denies Throwing Spitball Against Reds

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CINCINNATI, OH - JUNE 10: Jose Valverde #46 of the Detroit Tigers pitches in the ninth inning against the Cincinnati Reds at Great American Ball Park on June 10, 2012 in Cincinnati, Ohio. The Tigers came from behind to win 7-6. (credit: Joe Robbins/Getty Images)

CINCINNATI, OH – JUNE 10: Jose Valverde #46 of the Detroit Tigers pitches in the ninth inning against the Cincinnati Reds at Great American Ball Park on June 10, 2012 in Cincinnati, Ohio. The Tigers came from behind to win 7-6. (credit: Joe Robbins/Getty Images)

CHICAGO (AP) — Detroit Tigers closer Jose Valverde denied throwing a spitball in the ninth inning of Sunday night’s 7-6 win over the Cincinnati Reds.

An internet video showed Valverde putting his glove, with the ball in it, to his mouth before delivering a 1-2 pitch to Reds catcher Devin Mesoraco. Mesoraco swung and missed at the 94-mile per hour fastball.

“It’s nothing. I never did anything wrong,” Valverde said on Tuesday before the Tigers opened a series at Wrigley Field. “I put my glove on my mouth, yeah. Why? Because I sweat too much. That’s it.”

“Everybody can say whatever they want to, but I wasn’t doing anything wrong because I’ve never spit on the baseball. Everybody said what I was doing, but when you play in a stadium like that, Cincinnati is so hot. I sweat too much.”

He said he saw the video and anticipated the media’s reaction, laughing as a group of reporters approached him in the clubhouse.

Valverde is 3-1 with 12 saves in 15 chances. He has a 3.91 ERA.

He said he has not been contacted by Major League Baseball.

“When they want to talk, I’ll be here all the time,” he said.

(© Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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