Not many regulars accompanied the Detroit Tigers to Ed Smith Stadium in Sarasota in a rematch of yesterday’s 15-2 destruction of the Baltimore Orioles. But who they brought was enough to beat Baltimore for a second straight day as Detroit survived a late inning scare (stop me if you’ve heard this before) to earn a 5-4 win.
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Yoenis Cespedes, Ian Kinsler, Rajai Davis and Alex Avila did not make the trip. One player who did travel was Nick Castellanos. Despite getting drilled in the hand with a pitch yesterday, he made the 90-minute trip to face Baltimore. He exacted a bit of revenge by hitting a two-run homer off Chaz Roe in the fifth inning.
Anibal Sanchez received his first start of the spring and, as all the starters do the first turn through the rotation, went just two innings. Those two innings were extremely solid, however. Anibal allowed a hit and struck out one. Only one ball was hit out of the infield in the seven batters he faced.
Anthony Gose has impressed in his first few days as a Tiger. Yesterday in Lakeland he was able to easily coast into third base on a run-scoring triple, and today he went from first to third on a Dixon Machado single to rightfield. In the ensuing at-bat, when Machado got caught in a rundown, he scored the game’s first run.
For the second straight day, the Tigers held the Orioles scoreless until the eighth inning.
Notable among the relievers was Ian Krol. Considered a long-shot to make the Opening Day roster, Krol is trying to make Brad Ausmus‘ decision a tough one. Though he walked one, he also struck out one batter and was hitting 97 MPH on the radar gun.
Drew VerHagen was also sharp, coming on after Sanchez. He struck out three of the seven batters he faced over two innings, allowing just one base runner via a walk. Al Alburquerque also held the O’s scoreless in an inning of work, although he did surrender a hit.
Blaine Hardy was touched up for three Baltimore runs, allowing four hits in 1.2 innings. Jose Valdez came on to record the final out of the eighth inning and returned to the mound in the ninth inning looking shaky, walking the first batter before recording a double-play. A Jayson Werth solo homer closed the gap to one-run and Dariel Alvarez reached on an error from second baseman Josh Wilson. Joe Mantiply came on in relief of Valdez and retired Steve Pearce on one pitch to end the game.
Jose Iglesias started the game at shortstop after sitting out for rest on Tuesday. He went hitless in two at-bats and caught a popup.
Steven Moya didn’t start, but collected an RBI off an opposite field single. The other Tigers’ run scored as a result of a double-play and no RBI was awarded.
Alfredo Simon will get his first start as a Detroit Tiger when the team returns to Lakeland for a 1:05 game against the Atlanta Braves. The game will be broadcast in the Detroit area on WXYT-AM 1270.