The Detroit Tigers split their squad in two in separate match-ups with the Atlanta Braves, and Washington Nationals, Sunday afternoon. The two games, one which ended in a loss, and the other in a tie, produced mixed results for Brad Ausmus’ club.
On the road, against Atlanta, Detroit played sloppy, and mustered up very little on offense.
From the outset, it was ugly for the Tigers. Tyler Collins lost a ball in the sun, which opened up the door for the Braves’ first run, and Jose Iglesias tallied a throwing error on the very same play.
Detroit was able to put together a rally later on in the game, sparked by a Jefrey Marte homerun, and came back to tie it, but Atlanta pulled away for good after a Pedro Ciriaco single, which produced the two winning runs in a 5-3 final.
The only bright spot for Detroit, was Bruce Rondon, who continues to work through healthy outings. Rondon pitched one inning, recorded a strikeout, and allowed no runs.
Meanwhile, at home, the Tigers played Washington to a tie after some late-game heroics. The signs, however, were hardly encouraging. Justin Verlander, was roughed up in his second straight outing. He allowed 5 runs, 3 homeruns, and only struck out 2 in 4 1/3 innings.
The poor performance from the Tigers’ right-hander put the Tigers in a whole that they were only able to climb out of after scoring in each of the last four innings. A solo shot in the ninth from Joey Pankake gave the Tigers their seventh run, and forced a tie.
Sunday marked the first day in which the two sluggers had played since two separate surgeries put their chances of playing on Opening Day, in doubt. And, although they tallied only one hit between the two of them, in six plate-appearances, it was an encouraging boost for a team that is now 7-14 in spring camp.