LAKELAND, Fla. -- The Braves kept the Tigers from another home-run barrage, but they couldn't stop Detroit's Grapefruit League winning streak. Miguel Cabrera broke out of his hitless spring with a tape-measure home run over the left-field berm in the Tigers' 5-1 win on Wednesday at Joker Marchant Stadium.
The Tigers improved to 5-0. Three of those victories have come against the Braves by a combined margin of 25-4.
Eighteen of those runs came in a nine-homer outburst on a windy afternoon here on Sunday. This time, the wind was blowing out toward left field, not right, but Cabrera's blast would have gone out under any conditions.
Cabrera was 0-for-8 on the spring when he stepped to the plate against Jairo Asencio, the rare Braves reliever who held Detroit homerless in his inning of work Sunday. Cabrera turned on an Asencio fastball and sent it over the fans sprawled out on the berm.
By then, the Tigers were already comfortably ahead, having fallen a home run of shy of the team cycle in the second inning. Braves starter Brandon Beachy retired Detroit's first four batters before back-to-back walks set up the Tigers' rally.
Ryan Strieby, making the start at first base with Prince Fielder at DH for the day, singled in Delmon Young before Ryan Raburn delivered a drive speedy center fielder Michael Bourn couldn't run down for a two-run triple.
Top prospect Jacob Turner was scheduled to pitch three innings for the Tigers in his first start of the spring, but retired as many batters (four) as he walked before manager Jim Leyland pulled him with 47 pitches, 19 for strikes. None of those walks scored thanks to Luis Marte, who stranded the bases loaded.
Andy Oliver, the other end of Detroit's scheduled piggyback start, walked three batters in as many innings but didn't allow a hit. He used a nasty slider to rack up three strikeouts.
Drew Sutton, who went 2-for-2, tripled and scored off Octavio Dotel for the Braves' only run in the seventh.
Up next for Tigers: Cabrera hits the road with the Tigers on Thursday as he tries to build off of his power display with their visit to Port Charlotte for a 1:05 p.m. ET game against David Price and the Rays. Fifth starter candidate Duane Below will make his second outing of the spring in relief of starter Doug Fister.