Tuesday’s game turned into a game for the pitchers, unlike Monday’s thumping of the St. Louis Cardinals.
In the top of the 10th inning, Brad Glenn hit a solo home run over the left field wall off of Melvin Mercedes to give the Toronto Blue Jays a 3-2 lead that they were able to hold on to for the victory.
Don Kelly sparked the offense early for the Tigers with his two-run homer over the right field fence that plated Austin Jackson. Kelly –who some see as Andy Dirks‘ replacement in left field– has had a solid spring so far, batting (avg) with one home run, three RBI and four walks.
After his first scheduled start was rained out, Justin Verlander made his debut this spring for the Tigers on Tuesday. Verlander’s pitch count didn’t allow him to finish the fourth inning, but he kept the Blue Jays quiet early on. The former AL Cy Young and MVP award winner appeared sharp, allowing just one hit, two walks and striking out two in 4 2/3 innings pitched.
Robbie Ray came on in relief and finished the fourth inning for Verlander.
The Tigers offense stalled after Kelly’s home run, being held scoreless for the final eight innings.
- Phil Coke pitched the fifth inning for the Tigers and struck out two batters in his inning of work. Although he did allow one hit, Coke faired much better on Tuesday than his last two outings. In two innings of work against the New York Mets and St. Louis Cardinals, Coke combined to give up eight hits, four earned runs, one walk and just one strikeout.
- Joe Nathan, Al Alburquerque and Bruce Rondon all pitched scoreless innings out of the Tigers bullpen while giving up only three hits. Nathan and Alburquerque have yet to allow a run during Grapefruit League play.
- Kelly’s 1-for-3 day actually caused his batting average to drop to .421, but he has been tearing the cover off the ball, especially on his first home run of spring training
Box Score Highlights
- D. Kelly: 1-for-3, HR, 2 RBI, one run scored
- T. Hunter: 2-for-3
- J. Verlander: 3.2 innings, 1 hit, 2 K, 2 BB
- Jordan Lennerton, Steven Moya, Devon Travis, Tyler Collins and Daniel Fields all entered the game after the sixth inning for the Tigers but not any of the young prospects were able to record a hit.
The Tigers (7-6) are back on the road in the Grapefruit League as they are set to take on the New York Yankees (7-5) at 1:05 p.m. local time on Wednesday.