Detroit Tigers vs Baltimore Orioles — 1:05 PM ET
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Joker Marchant Stadium — Lakeland, FL
Radio: 97.1 The Ticket (click for affiliates)
Live Stats: MLB Gameday
Weather: 72 degrees, partly cloudy
The two sides will be familiar with each other as real practice baseball gets underway in this Grapefruit League kickoff for both the Detroit Tigers and the visiting Baltimore Orioles.
The O’s, of course, knocked the Tigers out of the playoffs last October with a three-game ALDS sweep. The favored Tigers had failures on all fronts in the three games: average starting pitching, bullpen meltdowns and too little offense. In the process, Baltimore had done to Detroit what no one else had done before: beat them in the American League Divisional series as the Tigers fell to 4-1 all-time.
Baltimore went on to be swept themselves in the ALCS by the Kansas City Royals.
Though it is not much of a silver lining, the Tigers did dominate the regular season series between the clubs, going 5-1.
These two teams will hit the road following this game and head 90 minutes southwest to Sarasota, FL to open the home portion of Baltimore’s Grapefruit League schedule.
When We Last Met
After a stunning bullpen meltdown which saw Joba Chamberlain and Joakim Soria blow a three-run 8th inning lead two days prior in Baltimore, the Tigers returned home in do-or-die fashion. David Price pitched exceedingly well, but Bud Norris was better. The Tigers had teed off on Norris in the regular season, but the bats when silent and the fans were shockingly silent throughout the game as well.
Detroit Tigers Starting Lineup
Kyle Lobstein gets the honor of being the first Detroit Tigers’ pitcher of the Grapefruit League season. The 25-year-old was very solid for the Tigers when they needed him, holding down the fort in Anibal Sanchez‘s spot down the stretch last year. Though he finished 1-2 with a 4.35 ERA, the Tigers won four of the seven games he pitched, keeping them in the game. Because they finished just one-game in front of Kansas City for the AL Central crown, a slip up or two from Kyle could have cost them. Also his rather high ERA 4.35 was mainly because of allowing six runs in his final appearance.
The Avila hitting second experiment begins in earnest today. After sitting out some of the weekend drills with a sore back and not playing in yesterday’s game, Alex will be catching and hitting #2. Jose Iglesias will not start after playing briefly yesterday.
- Rajai Davis-RF
- Alex Avila-C
- Ian Kinsler-2B
- Yoenis Cespedes-LF
- Nick Castellanos-3B
- Tyler Collins-DH
- Jordan Lennerton-1B
- Andrew Romine-SS
- Anthony Gose-CF