Detroit Tigers win despite Alfredo Simon’s continued struggles (VIDEO)
By Matt Pelc
A night after surrendering a big lead and losing in walk-off fashion, the Detroit Tigers mounted a nice comeback of their own to pick up a rare Grapefruit League victory, 8-4 over the Miami Marlins.
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The big blow of the game for the Tigers came off the unlikely bat of Bryan Holaday. Fighting for a job, the backup catcher came up to bat in the bottom of the sixth inning with the bases loaded and two out. Two runs had already scored off of Miami’s Sam Dyson (in relief of starter David Phelps, who pitched five scoreless innings) when Holaday launched a big fly to the Joker Marchant Stadium left field berm for a Grand Slam.
Detroit would go on to add a pair of runs in the seventh inning on a Jordan Lennerton two-run double.
While all is good on the scoreboard, the Tigers have to be troubled by the third straight tough start for Alfredo Simon. He was hit hard, particularly in the second inning when Donovan Solano hit a homer to lead it off. Simon had to work out of a bases loaded jam to avoid more runs in that inning.
The Marlins added three more, with a single run and a pair of runs in the fourth and fifth, against Simon who is now sporting a 7.02 ERA. He threw more than 80 pitches (around 10 more than was scheduled), allowing eight hits in 4.2 innings.
Joe Nathan and Joba Chamberlain came on in middle relief and did not instill much confidence in Tigers’ fans. While each came out their respective frame unharmed, they both had to work out of bases loaded jams.
Bruce Rondon and Joe Mantiply closed the game out with scoreless eighth inning and ninth innings.
Today’s game marked the first time in 2015 that Miguel Cabrera and Victor Martinez appeared in the same major league lineup. Miggy played at first base for the first time and had a nifty dive to end the first inning. See it!
Cabrera was removed after his second at-bat in the fourth inning due to a four-inning defensive cap imposed by manager Brad Ausmus. He was hitless with a fly out and ground out.
V-Mart notched his first hit of the Spring as part of the Tigers six-run sixth inning, going 1-for-3.
Also notable in the lineup was Jose Iglesias who notched Detroit’s first hit of the game giving him just his third hit of the spring (hitting .091).
It was just the Detroit Tigers’ second win in their last 14 Spring Training Games. They will stay in Lakeland and face the Baltimore Orioles Thursday afternoon.
Like today’s game, it will be broadcast on Fox Sports Detroit beginning at 1:05. David Price will start.