Kyle Lobstein. Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
After dropping their first two games of Spring Training behind some poor pitching performances by young arms on Friday, the Detroit Tigers bounced back to beat the Houston Astros 5-1 at Joker Marchant Stadium in Lakeland on Saturday. One of the stars of the day was a young arm–Kyle Lobstein.
Lobstein, getting the turn in the rotation that would have belonged to Justin Verlander had he been healthy, started the game and went three innings–the longest outing for any pitcher on the Tigers’ staff this spring. The 2012 Rule 5 draftee was nearly perfect–surrendering just a one-out walk in the third inning.
Despite the stellar effort, this could be Lobstein’s sole start in Spring Training as Verlander should be able to return to the rotation on the next turn, barring any setbacks in his recovery effort.
The Tigers coasted to the win after a five-run fourth inning, which was highlighted by Don Kelly‘s double that plated two runs.
- Some were worried about the lack of power in Detroit’s lineup heading into 2014. These fears may be well-founded as the Tigers have yet to leave the yard in Grapefruit League play–though they did hit a smattering of homers against Florida Southern College.
- Austin Jackson collected a pair of hits on Saturday. The primary lead-off hitter for the Tigers since 2010 has been faring quite nicely hitting in the fourth, fifth, and sixth spots this spring–boasting a .625 average.
- Al Alburquerque allowed six straight balls to start his outing in the 7th inning, but steadied the ship and got three quick outs.
Anibal Sanchez will take the hill for the Tigers in Disney World on Sunday afternoon as Detroit and the Atlanta Braves tangle for the third time in five days.