Urbina leaves Tigers for Venezuela

Updated: September 2, 2004, 3:56 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

CARACAS, Venezuela -- The mother of Detroit Tigers pitcher Ugueth Urbina was kidnapped by four unidentified men disguised as police officers, police said Thursday.

Ugueth Urbina
Urbina

The men took Maura Villareal from a house owned by Urbina in suburban Caracas on Wednesday, said Joel Rengifo, director of the country's anti-kidnapping police force. The men have not contacted family members, he said.

The Tigers said Urbina had left the club to go to Venezuela, and the team is working with major league baseball and its Venezuelan contacts to assist the pitcher.

Urbina, 30, has 21 saves in 24 opportunities along with a 4-6 record and 4.50 ERA this season with the Tigers. He signed a one-year contract with a club option for 2005 with Detroit in March after not being able to come to terms on a deal with the Florida Marlins.

Information from The Associated Press and SportsTicker was used in this report.