Detroit Tiger Alex Avila had the game winning hit Sunday afternoon against Miami. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Detroit Tigers use strong pitching, timely hitting to beat Miami Marlins 3-1

The Detroit Tigers began their two-game trip to Jupiter, Florida with a 3-1 defeat of the Miami Marlins on Sunday afternoon.

The Tigers offense was not overpowering for yet another Spring game. Detroit has averaged just around four runs per game, but have struggled in the power category. Tyler Collins launched his first homer of the spring, tying the score at 1 in the seventh inning, marking just the third long ball for the Tigers in 14 Grapefruit League games.

Rick Porcello started the game and went three strong innings. He entered the game in the fourth and recorded an out before allowing a long home run to slugger Giancarlo Stanton. Four Tigers pitchers shut the Marlins down the rest of the way, including Jose Alvarez who went two innings and pitched out of a two-out, two-on jam in the bottom of the 9th by striking out Ty Wigginton to end the game.

Detroit was held scoreless through six innings with their best scoring opportunity coming in the sixth inning with the bases loaded and two outs, but Alex Avila struck out to end the threat. Avila would atone for the costly strikeout two innings later. With two on, two out, Avila laced a double to center which split the outfielders, scoring two and giving the Tigers their eventual two-run margin of victory.

Notes:

  • At one point Tigers’ pitching set down 13 straight Marlins batters until Jake Marisnick led off with a bunt single in the 9th.
  • Evan Reed is out of options and is making a strong case to make the Opening Day roster, going two perfect innings. Reed is currently sporting a 1.50 ERA.
  • Ian Krol was credited with the win, he pitched a perfect seventh inning and has yet to allow a run this spring.
  • Avila was hitting in the clean-up position (don’t freak out, Victor Martinez did not make the trip).
  • Ian Kinsler continued to struggle with his new team, striking out in each of his three at-bats. Kinsler is now batting .176, and while that’s not good–if he’s hitting .176 on April 9 instead of March 9,  then we can be worried.

The Tigers stay put and will take on the St. Louis Cardinals at the same field tomorrow afternoon. Game time is at 1:05 and it will mark the first time all spring that Fox Sports Detroit will broadcast a game.

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