Tigers rally from four down to top Jays
Willis gives up four runs on four hits over three innings
TIGERS 10, BLUE JAYS 4
at Lakeland, Fla.
Saturday, March 14
Blue Jays at the plate: Russ Adams reached base and scored in each of the first two innings without a base hit. Adam Lind plated him in the first inning with a two-run triple before Aaron Hill doubled in Adams in the second. Timo Perez's drop of a Lyle Overbay sinking liner led to another run in the first.
Tigers at the plate: Timo Perez opened Detroit's scoring by doubling in Ryan Raburn in the second inning before Gerald Laird's two-run homer in the fifth drew the Tigers within a run. Will Rhymes put Detroit ahead in the sixth with a two-run triple to the fence in center field. Mike Hessman capped a four-run seventh inning with a two-run homer.
Blue Jays on the mound: Perez's double accounted for the only scoring against starter Casey Janssen, who escaped trouble when the Tigers loaded the bases with two outs in the third. Janssen retired Laird, but Detroit scored five times on former teammate Mike Maroth, the last on a passed ball.
Tigers on the mound: Starter Dontrelle Willis seemed headed for a quick exit after a hit-by-pitch, a walk and a two-run triple to start the game in a three-run opening inning. He eventually settled down, but finished with four runs allowed over three innings. Nate Robertson gave up a leadoff single and a fielding error to start the fourth, but retired the next nine batters in order. Eddie Bonine pitched three scoreless innings for the save.
Grapefruit League records: Blue Jays 7-6-1, Tigers 5-9
Coming up: Alfredo Figaro will start in place of Rick Porcello on Sunday when the Tigers visit the Nationals at Space Coast Stadium at 1:05 p.m. ET. Clay Rapada, Zach Simons and Fu-Te Ni are also scheduled to pitch for Detroit. Collin Balester, who baffled Tigers hitters on Feb. 26, gets a rematch when he makes the start for Washington. The game will be available online via Gameday Audio, and over the air in Detroit on FM 97.1 and AM 1270.
Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.