The Detroit Tigers might have won a rare Grapefruit League game if not for their starter as the team dropped their 19th game of the spring, 3-2 against the Houston Astros.
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Ryan pitched a scoreless second inning and was removed for an effective third inning from Joe Nathan, striking out Evan Gattis (swung through two pitches), striking out Chris Carter before Jason Castro worked a four-pitch walk. The next batter flew out to deep center for the final out and with a wink and a nod, Nathan left the game without a scratch.
Dallas Keuchel started and was strong for the Astros, going 5.2 innings allowing a run in the fifth inning, striking out five and issuing five walks. With his effort, Keuchel lowered his spring ERA to 1.80.
Detroit had their chances, loading the bases with one out in the fourth inning and putting a runner at third with two outs in the fifth inning but could not bring home a run in either situation.
One pitcher not included in that pitching line was Bruce Rondon, who was scheduled to pitch today in Kissimmee. He felt something tighten in his shoulder before getting loose and the Tigers took the precautions of sending him back to Lakeland for treatment. Coming off Tommy John surgery, Rondon is listed as day-to-day, though Brad Ausmus did not seem to like his chances of making the 25-man roster.
If Rondon doesn’t go north with the Tigers, that could be a huge blow to an already questionable bullpen. Stay tuned on that one.
The Tigers will head back to Lakeland tomorrow for the first of two final games at Joker Marchant Stadium in 2015. They will face the New York Yankees tomorrow at 1:05 with Shane Greene getting the start against his former teammates. The game will be broadcast nationally on ESPN.