Detroit Tigers pitcher Dontrelle Willis was activated from the disabled list yesterday, but will pitch out of the bullpen initially.

He eventually will return to the rotation, manager Jim Leyland said.

Righthander Armando Galarraga, who replaced Willis, will remain in the starting rotation.

Willis, on the disabled list because of a hyperextended right knee since April 12, went 1-1 with 4.41 ERA in three rehab starts at Triple A Toledo. He won his most recent start, allowing a run and five hits while striking out four in six innings Saturday at Columbus.

He came to the Tigers in an offseason trade along with slugger Miguel Cabrera, but has pitched only five innings for the club. He left during the first inning of his second start at Chicago after he slipped off the mound while delivering a pitch.

Leyland said he hoped the time in the bullpen would give the lefty time to "get Dontrelle Willis back to the Dontrelle Willis we know."

Galarraga (3-1), who shares the team lead for wins, is scheduled to start tomorrow against Minnesota's Boof Bonser.

Reliever Clay Rapada (2-0) went on the DL with biceps tendinitis.

Noteworthy

* Yankees ace Chien-Ming Wang has a mild strain of his right calf, but is not expected to miss a turn in the rotation.

* The Los Angeles Angels activated infielder Chone Figgins (hamstring) off the 15-day disabled list and placed infielder Erick Aybar on the 15-day DL with a dislocated right pinkie.

* Righthanded reliever Franklyn German was designated for assignment by Texas, which recalled righthander Kameron Loe from Triple A Oklahoma.

In games yesterday:

* At New York, Alex Rodriguez hit two balls over the fence but was credited with only one home run, and the Yankees blanked the Baltimore Orioles, 8-0. The second shot was incorrectly called an RBI double. Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter was in the lineup, a night after getting hit on the left hand by a pitch.

* At Chicago, Jermaine Dye hit a go-ahead three-run homer in the sixth inning, and added a solo shot in the seventh, as the White Sox won their seventh straight game, 7-2, over the Cleveland Indians.

* At Oakland, Dana Eveland (4-3) pitched a three-hitter for his first career complete game, Jack Cust homered twice and Jack Hannahan also homered as the Athletics defeated the Tampa Bay Rays, 9-1.

* At Detroit, Marcus Thames hit a grand slam to help lift the Tigers over the Seattle Mariners, 9-4. Kenny Rogers (4-4) got the win, allowing four runs on eight hits in 5 1/3 innings.

* At Minneapolis, Sidney Ponson (3-0) allowed a run on six hits as he pitched career complete game No. 29 as the Texas Rangers beat the Twins, 10-1.

* At Boston, Bartolo Colon made a solid return to the majors after recovering from an elbow injury, allowing two runs in five innings and posting his first win since June as the Red Sox beat the Kansas City Royals, 6-3.

* At Toronto, Vladimir Guerrero homered twice and drove in all four runs in the Angels' 4-3 win over the Blue Jays. *