The Detroit Tigers defeated the split squad Toronto Blue Jays today in Lakeland 6-4.
Before the game, Victor Martinez continued his progression to his return by taking batting practice for the first time. Jose Iglesias was sidelined again for precautionary reasons due to his contused shin which he hit during batting practice yesterday. Iglesias is penciled to start tomorrow’s game against the Philadelphia Phillies.
Each of the Tigers and the Blue Jays scored in the second inning. The Tigers scored off a Dixon Machado single. Blue Jay slugger Jose Bautista tagged his first home run of the spring off Sanchez in the top of the third inning earning Anibal a trip to the showers. Sanchez was not overly sharp in his outing allowing two earned runs, four hits and a walk in two and 1/3 innings.
Kyle Ryan, Joe Nathan and Ian Krol pitched in for nearly four innings of scoreless pitching. Nathan saw his third game in action and had a 1-2-3 5th inning retiring including getting Bautista to fly out.
Former Blue Jays, Rajai Davis and Anthony Gose displayed some of the speed that Tiger manager Brad Ausmus looks to employ in the 2015 campaign. Davis walked and then stole second base. He advanced to third on a wild pitch and then scored when Gose doubled. Gose then stole third base when no one was looking and scored when the throw to third went wild giving the Tigers the lead in the bottom of the third.
Righthander Alex Wilson replaced Ian Krol in the seventh and allowed an Ezequiel Carrera walk to turn into a run when Dalton Pompey tripled him home. Pomprey then scored to give the Jays a 4-3 lead on a sacrifice fly by Jack Murphy.
The Tigers regained the lead in the bottom of the seventh. Catcher James McCann started the rally off Jay’s pitcher Rob Rasmussen with a single. Second basement Harold Castro drove McCann to third on a double to right field. Right field Wynton Bernard drove both McCann and Castro in with a single to center. The Tigers’ reserves and prospects continued to terrorize Rasmussen when Daniel Fields increased the lead to 6-4 when he singled home Bernard.
Gose, Daniel Fields and James McCann continued to impress during the spring session. McCann is making a solid play for the vacant designated hitter spot until Martinez and Miguel Cabrera return to the lineup.
The Tigers take on the Philadelphia Phillies tomorrow at 1:05 PM in Clearwater.