There was gunfire. There were tense moments. But a happy ending.

The Tigers confirmed Sunday that the family of relief pitcher Brayan Villarreal was the target of an unsuccessful armed kidnapping on Friday night in Venezuela.

No members of Villarreal's family were harmed, and the incident won't require him to leave spring training.

Villarreal was not with the team on Sunday when it played the Braves. His next scheduled appearance is for Monday's game in Lakeland against the Braves.

The story was first reported by Venezuelan sports writer Billy Russo, but in comments to FOXSports.com, Villarreal's agent Hector Gomez said the matter ended with the pitcher's family safe, but that gunfire had been exchanged between the would-be kidnappers and police in Valencia, Venezuela's third largest city.

"He's thankful to God that nothing happened," Gomez said. "He was angry. He was confused. He was sad.

"He was worried about his parents, But now he knows they are safe."

Villarreal, 25, has pitched in 66 games for the Tigers over the last two seasons, including 50 last year. The targets of the kidnapping were his father, mother and youngest brother.

"He's doing much better now," Gomez said of Villarreal to FOXSports.com. "I don't think it's going to affect him on the field."

The kidnappers, said Gomez, were waiting in the house when Villarreal's family returned home. His family has been moved to a different residence.

Villarreal won't travel to Venezuela, though.



From The Detroit News: http://www.detroitnews.com/article/20130303/SPORTS0104/303030326#ixzz2MZVTItob