The spring home opener is over for the Detroit Tigers and it was one to forget. They lost to the Toronto Blue Jays in a 10-3 routing. But still in a losing effort there were some great steps forward by the Tigers and there is no reason to overreact to this bad loss.
Prince Fielder started the scoring off with a monster home run over the right field wall that hit the batting cages to give Detroit a 2-0 lead in the first inning. This was after Torii Hunter reached on a double in his first at-bat with the Tigers to sounds of roaring fans in Tiger Town. The Blue Jays took the lead in the top of the third after two walks and then a single by Emilio Bonifacio that loaded the bases for Brett Lawrie who singled to bring in two runs. Adam Lind then had a sacrifice fly to bring in the third run, immediately followed by a Miguel Cabrera home run in the bottom half of the frame that sailed over the left center wall.
From there on it was all Blue Jays, adding four more in the sixth inning on a grand slam home run by Lance Zawadzki and then three more runs in the seventh. The Tigers young pitching did not fare well today like they did against the Atlanta Braves yesterday but Anibal Sanchez pitched well in his two innings of work giving up a few hits but no runs.
With home runs by both Fielder and Cabrera fans can breathe a little easier after their horrible game yesterday where they didn’t get hits. Others in the lineup had good at-bats too such as Austin Jackson who didn’t end up with any hits but had great appearances at the plate pounding two shots to the warning track.
This was the first time I’ve got to actually see the Tigers play and they looked pretty good for the most part. Batters seemed to be getting good contact on the ball and there were no defensive issues. They look like they are right where they should be at this point in Spring Training.
Other than the young pitchers getting touched up by the opposing hitting it was a great game to watch. The starters got their work in for the day and gave the fans a great show early on. Remember this is Spring Training the score after five innings might be more valuable than the one after nine.