Tigers' Willis has solid Triple-A start

PAWTUCKET, R.I. -- Dontrelle Willis took a step in his recovery from anxiety disorder, pitching into the eighth inning and allowing two runs for Triple-A Toledo on Wednesday night.

Willis, the 2003 National League Rookie of the Year with Florida, gave up five hits -- including a homer -- walked four and struck out four in 7 2/3 innings against the Pawtucket Red Sox.

The 26-year-old left-hander threw 74 of 118 pitches for strikes. Willis had given up only an infield single until the sixth.

Willis spent much of last season in the minors, rehabbing a right knee injury and trying to deal with control problems. He continued to have problems getting the ball over the plate during spring training, and the Tigers placed him on the DL on March 29.