Detroit Tigers Start Strong then Melt Down in 9-8 Loss to New York Yankees


Mar 24, 2015; Tampa, FL, USA; Detroit Tigers starting pitcher Anibal Sanchez (19) throws a pitch prior to the first inning of a spring training baseball game against the New York Yankees at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

The Detroit Tigers were defeated by the New York Yankees 9-8 in a rare Spring Training Night Game at George M. Steinbrenner Field in Tampa, Florida. The Tigers started strong, but sputtered down the stretch with some key players trying to win bullpen spots melting down to give the game up. Tonight was the Anthony Gose show on defense as he flashed his arm on multiple occasions.

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Anibal Sanchez got the start for the Tigers. He went 5 innings of 4 hit ball with 2 earned runs, 3 walks, and 4 strikeouts.

The Tigers got out to a fast start in the first by pushing across a run on three singles. Anthony Gose led the game off with a single and stole second base. Miguel Cabrera and Yoenis Cespedis then hit singles to get Gose in and give the Tigers the 1-0 lead.

In the bottom half of the first, Brett Garnder matched Gose with a single and a stolen base, but Gose one-upped Gardner by throwing him out at third while trying to advance on a fly ball. The Yankees then had back-to-back doubles from Carlos Beltran and Mark Teixeira to tie the game a 1-1.

The Tigers regained the lead in the top of the second. Andrew Romine walked and Jose Iglesias reached on an error to put two on with one out. Gose flew out to center field advancing Romine to third. Iglesias then stole second which is a great sign with his shins. Ian Kinsler cleared the bases on a single giving the Tigers the 3-1 lead. Miguel Cabrera then walked. J.D. Martinez then doubled both Kinsler and Cabrera home, giving the Tigers the 5-1 lead.

The Yankees cut into the Tigers’ lead in the 3rd. Brett Garnder walked and stole second for the second time. Case Headley grounded out advancing Gardner to 3rd. Carlos Beltran then hit a sacrifice fly to score Gardner to cut the Tigers’ lead to 5-2. Gose almost threw out Gardner again, but he got in ahead of the throw.

Gose made another defensive play in the 4th inning. Stephen Drew singled on a fly ball to center field and thought he was fast enough to stretch a single into a double against a center fielder who threw out one of the fastest players in the league at third base from right-center and almost threw him out again on a sacrifice fly. Drew was gunned down at second. Ladies and gentlemen, the Tigers have defense in their outfield.

The Tigers tallied another run in the 5th inning. J.D. Martinez walked to lead off the inning. Alex Avila grounded out advancing Martinez to 2nd. Nick Castellanos got in on the fun with a single to left field scoring Martinez.

The Tigers added two more runs in the 7th with a two out rally. Yoenis Cespedes singled in front of Avila’s best swing of the spring. Avila doubled to deep center field scoring Jason Krizan who pinch ran for Cespedes. Castellanos walked putting runners at 1st and 2nd with 2 outs. Andrew Romine then reached on an error by Francisco Arcia scoring Jefry Marte who pinch ran for Castellanos.

The Yankees also scored in the 7th as Kyle Ryan struggled. Chris Young and Didi Gregorius started the inning with back to back doubles to cut the lead to 8-3. Ryan then hit Slade Heathcott with a pitch and walked Jonathan Galvez. Aaron Judge struck out looking, but Arcia got a run home with a ground out fielder’s choice. Buck Farmer then entered the game and walked Ryan Murphy and Kyle Higashioka to push across another run and make the score 8-5.

Rafael Dolis entered the game in the 9th and he had the worst night of all of the pitchers. Aaron Judge walked to lead off the inning. Ryan Murphy the singled scoring Judge who stole 2nd. Ali Castillo then walked with 2 outs before Ramon Flores hit a walk off two-run home run.

The Tigers play again tomorrow against the Miami Marlins at Joker Marchant Stadium in Lakeland.

Next: Tigers option players; three-man booth on FSD