Miggy, V-Mart hit first spring homers as Tigers beat O's

Ace lefty Price has his longest start of the spring, going 6 2/3 innings

Miggy, V-Mart hit first spring homers as Tigers beat O's

LAKELAND, Fla. -- Ten months after Miguel Cabrera hit a go-ahead home run off Tommy Hunter at Camden Yards, the slugger led a Tigers comeback with a game-tying drive off the Orioles reliever. However, it took a Victor Martinez home run in the eighth inning to break the tie and send Detroit to its second straight victory by a score of 6-4 on Thursday at Joker Marchant Stadium.

Martinez's home run restored Detroit's lead after Jayson Nix homered off a hanging slider from Joe Nathan in the top of the inning to tie the game. Add in a Yoenis Cespedes homer, and the power display broke up a pitching duel between aces David Price and Chris Tillman.

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Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. Read Beck's Blog and follow him on Twitter @beckjason. Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, and follow her on Facebook and Twitter @britt_ghiroli. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

J.D. Martinez ready for hurlers' adjustments

Outfielder knows that pitchers will be better prepared to face him this year

J.D. Martinez ready for hurlers' adjustments

LAKELAND, Fla. -- J.D. Martinez picked up some attention last season for the notebook he carried with him in the dugout to track how pitchers approached him.

Now that he has the league's attention, he's going to have to prepare for the notes other teams have been taking as well.

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Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. Read Beck's Blog and follow him on Twitter @beckjason. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Miggy, V-Mart show off their power strokes

All-Star duo hit their first home runs in Spring Training

Miggy, V-Mart show off their power strokes

LAKELAND, Fla. -- Miguel Cabrera and Victor Martinez seemingly cleared the health hurdle a few days ago in their comebacks from their respective surgeries. In their battle to get their timing down at the plate in time for Opening Day, they both cleared the fence Thursday.

In the case of Cabrera, his first home run of the spring cleared the left-field fence on a line. In Martinez's case, his first homer in Grapefruit League cleared the right-field fence easily.

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Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. Read Beck's Blog and follow him on Twitter @beckjason. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Tigers send Dolis to Minor League camp, option Farmer

Tigers send Dolis to Minor League camp, option Farmer

LAKELAND, Fla. -- The Tigers bullpen competition is down two more contestants.

Granted, Buck Farmer and Rafael Dolis looked like they were on the outside looking in, especially in recent days. But the latest round of cuts from Tigers camp provides a little more clarity on the competition.

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Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. Read Beck's Blog and follow him on Twitter @beckjason. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Former Tigers pitcher Bill Slayback passes away at 67

LAKELAND, Fla. -- Bill Slayback, a pitcher for the Tigers in the early 1970s who went on to a songwriting career, has passed away at age 67. The Tigers confirmed the news Thursday evening.

A lanky right-hander drafted out of Cal State Northridge in 1968, Slayback pitched in 42 Major League games -- all for the Tigers -- from 1972-74.

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Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. Read Beck's Blog and follow him on Twitter @beckjason. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Tigers open exploratory talks with Price's agent

Lefty, who's eligible for free agency after season, says two sides are 'feeling out' each other

Tigers open exploratory talks with Price's agent

LAKELAND, Fla. -- The Tigers have opened discussions with left-hander David Price and his agent, Bo McKinnis, about the potential of a contract extension. At this point, however, they're basically talking about concepts. No numbers have been mentioned, Price said Wednesday morning.

"I wouldn't even call it groundwork," Price said. "I wouldn't even say that groundwork is being laid."

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Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. Read Beck's Blog and follow him on Twitter @beckjason. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Miggy moves up timetable, looks solid at first

Cabrera makes diving stop to rob hit in opening inning of spring fielding debut

Miggy moves up timetable, looks solid at first

LAKELAND, Fla. -- Don Kelly had to smile and say something as Miguel Cabrera picked himself up off the infield dirt at Joker Marchant Stadium on Wednesday.

It wasn't that Cabrera had just taken a base hit and an RBI away from a former teammate who's battling for a job with another team. Kelly could live with that.

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Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. Read Beck's Blog and follow him on Twitter @beckjason. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Nesbitt catches Tigers' attention with advanced work

Prospect a breakout relief candidate after serving as Class A closer last year

Nesbitt catches Tigers' attention with advanced work

LAKELAND, Fla. -- The quiet voice of Angel Nesbitt requires some close listening when he talks about his Spring Training, about his rise from Class A Lakeland closer to Tigers breakout relief candidate in less than a year. He's a softer-spoken person than his linebacker-like frame would suggest.

"I feel so happy how I'm throwing right now in Spring Training," the 24-year-old Venezuelan right-hander said. "This is my first Spring Training, like [on the] 40-man [roster], and I feel good. I can say I've thrown well."

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Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. Read Beck's Blog and follow him on Twitter @beckjason. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Holaday hits slam after Miggy, V-Mart quiet at plate

Holaday hits slam after Miggy, V-Mart quiet at plate

LAKELAND, Fla. -- Bryan Holaday's grand slam capped a six-run Tigers rally in the sixth inning off Marlins reliever Sam Dyson, turning what had been a shutout performance for five innings from David Phelps into an 8-4 Tigers comeback win Wednesday afternoon at Joker Marchant Stadium.

On a day when the Tigers had Miguel Cabrera and Victor Martinez in the same lineup for the first time all spring, Phelps kept Detroit in check for five innings, allowing Miami to build an early lead on a Donovan Solano homer off Alfredo Simon and a Jordany Valdespin triple and run scored. Once Phelps left, the Tigers churned out a half-dozen hits.

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Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. Read Beck's Blog and follow him on Twitter @beckjason. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Beloved Kelly returns to Tigertown with Marlins

Beloved Kelly returns to Tigertown with Marlins

LAKELAND, Fla. -- Don Kelly spent 12 years in the Tigers' organization, so it certainly felt normal for him to take the field at Joker Marchant Stadium. And he already saw his former Detroit teammates earlier this spring, so doing so Wednesday wasn't all that unusual, either.

But walking into Tigertown and taking a turn into the visitors' clubhouse? That was a little different for Kelly.

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Adam Berry is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @adamdberry. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Anibal sharp as Kinsler, J.D. lead offense

Righty hurls five innings of two-run ball vs. Yanks; duo combines for 4 RBIs

Anibal sharp as Kinsler, J.D. lead offense

TAMPA, Fla. -- Ramon Flores figures to be near the top of the Yankees' list should they need an outfielder during the regular season, and he provided them with something to remember on Tuesday night, belting a game-winning three-run home run in a 9-8 victory over the Tigers at George M. Steinbrenner Field.

Flores slugged his second home run of the spring off right-hander Rafael Dolis, clearing the right-field wall with two strikes and two outs in the bottom of the ninth. Flores is the Yanks' No. 26 prospect and will likely begin the year at Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.

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Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. Read Beck's Blog and follow him on Twitter @beckjason. Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and read his MLBlog, Bombers Beat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

One year later, Martinez thankful for move to Tigers

After breakout season, outfielder feels at home in Detroit

One year later, Martinez thankful for move to Tigers

TAMPA, Fla. -- One year ago Tuesday, J.D. Martinez signed with the Tigers, two days after being released by the Astros. He celebrated by doubling in two runs against the Yankees on national television to tie Ian Kinsler for the team lead with 11 RBIs.

He did not celebrate by rubbing it into his old squad for the move they made. If anything, he looked around at his situation and thanked the Astros for releasing him a year ago.

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Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. Read Beck's Blog and follow him on Twitter @beckjason. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Playing first base in games on horizon for Miggy

Tigers slugger goes 1-for-3 with a single vs. Yanks; V-Mart to DH Wednesday

Playing first base in games on horizon for Miggy

TAMPA, Fla. -- Miguel Cabrera could begin playing first base in games as soon as Thursday, Tigers manager Brad Ausmus said. Before that, however, he's going to head to the Minor Leagues for a day to get at-bats as a designated hitter.

Hours after Victor Martinez picked up four at-bats against Braves Minor Leaguers on the back fields of Tigertown, Cabrera was the DH for the Major League club Tuesday night against the Yankees, going 1-for-3 with a single, a run scored and a walk.

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Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. Read Beck's Blog and follow him on Twitter @beckjason. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Gose emerging as leadoff option vs. righties

Gose emerging as leadoff option vs. righties

TAMPA, Fla. -- The offensive emergence of Anthony Gose this spring could well earn him a spot at or near the top of the Tigers' batting order come Opening Day.

"I think Gose is a very viable option against right-handed pitchers at the leadoff spot," manager Brad Ausmus said Tuesday night.

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Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. Read Beck's Blog and follow him on Twitter @beckjason. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Lobstein, two other Tigers pitchers optioned to Triple-A

Zeid, Wilson likely to work out of 'pen at Toledo; Cabrera assigned to Minors camp

Lobstein, two other Tigers pitchers optioned to Triple-A

TAMPA, Fla. -- Kyle Lobstein has secured his standing as the Detroit Tigers' sixth starter. Unfortunately for him, they only need five.

Though Lobstein is likely to get another shot in the big leagues when the Tigers need an extra starter, he's headed to Triple-A Toledo for now, optioned out Tuesday along with right-handers Josh Zeid and Alex Wilson. Another pitcher, non-roster invitee Alberto Cabrera, was assigned to Minor League camp, where he'll likely join the trio with the Mud Hens.

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Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. Read Beck's Blog and follow him on Twitter @beckjason. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Health of star duo, state of bullpen key for Tigers

Detroit has several things to do to be ready for Opening Day on April 6

Health of star duo, state of bullpen key for Tigers

LAKELAND, Fla. -- The Tigers usually have an off-day in the next-to-last week of Spring Training for a purpose. It delineates the bulk of their spring schedule from the final days when the roster takes shape.

With about a week and a half left before the team heads north for Opening Day, team president/general manager Dave Dombrowski, manager Brad Ausmus and their staffs have some decisions to make. They aren't as heavy as their decisions last spring, when the Tigers had to replace a shortstop and a setup reliever on the fly. But they're still choices that will impact Detroit's chances of winning a fifth consecutive American League Central title.

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Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. Read Beck's Blog and follow him on Twitter @beckjason. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Miggy targeting Opening Day after positive debut

Tigers star goes 1-for-3; manager cautiously optimistic about chances to start season

Miggy targeting Opening Day after positive debut

LAKELAND, Fla. -- The crowd of reporters had dispersed a bit from the Tigers' clubhouse Sunday, allowing Miguel Cabrera to resume his game of table tennis, when he summed up his day.

"Yeah," he yelled out, "I'm back."

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Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. Read Beck's Blog and follow him on Twitter @beckjason. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Grateful to be playing, V-Mart feels good about debut

Tigers slugger goes 0-for-3, looking to slow game down as he works way back from knee surgery

Grateful to be playing, V-Mart feels good about debut

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Tigers slugger Victor Martinez made his highly anticipated spring debut -- albeit a rather uneventful one -- in Sunday's split-squad game against the Braves at Champion Stadium.

Martinez, appearing in his first game action since undergoing surgery this offseason to repair a meniscus tear in his left knee, went hitless in three at-bats while serving as Detroit's designated hitter in the Tigers' 5-3 loss. He struck out in his first at-bat then bounced out on routine grounders to first base in each of the next two.

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Paul Casella is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Verlander serves up 3 homers as Tigers play to draw

Pankake hits club's 4th blast to tie it in 9th; Miggy goes 1-for-3 in first spring game

Verlander serves up 3 homers as Tigers play to draw

LAKELAND, Fla. -- Michael Taylor, the Nationals' No. 2 prospect, hit two home runs as part of a three-homer barrage from Washington batters off Justin Verlander, building an early lead until Joey Pankake's ninth-inning homer forged a 7-7 tie with the Tigers on Sunday at Joker Marchant Stadium.

Three days after the same teams battled to a scoreless tie in Viera, Fla., the two sides combined for seven homers on a summerlike day in Lakeland. Taylor's two-homer day and Ian Stewart's third homer of the spring resulted in a string of three leadoff home runs in as many innings off Verlander, who continued to work on his slider while trying to spot his fastball.

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V-Mart debuts as Zeid, Tigers nipped late vs. Braves

Slugger goes 0-for-3 in first game since knee surgery; Lobstein allows two runs in four innings

V-Mart debuts as Zeid, Tigers nipped late vs. Braves

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Braves right-hander Shelby Miller turned in a third consecutive impressive outing on Sunday, and after a Tigers split squad -- featuring the debut of slugger Victor Martinez -- rallied late to tie, Pedro Ciriaco's two-run single off Josh Zeid in the eighth lifted Atlanta to a 5-3 victory.

Miller limited the Tigers to just one run on four hits, while also notching four strikeouts over a spring-high five innings. Miller has now allowed just two runs over 12 innings in his last three outings after being tagged for four runs while recording only one out in his spring debut.

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Paul Casella is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Verlander focused more on fine-tuning than homers

Despite allowing trio of long balls, Tigers ace says fastball is trending upward; slider needs work

Verlander focused more on fine-tuning than homers

LAKELAND, Fla. -- Justin Verlander's first pitch of the fourth inning Sunday hit 89 mph on the Joker Marchant Stadium radar gun on its way to the plate. It hit the right-field light tower on its way out, one of three home runs off Verlander to lead off three consecutive innings.

In that sense, the results game, Verlander had a rough afternoon, allowing five runs on five hits over 4 1/3 innings in his fourth Spring Training start during the Tigers' 7-7 tie with the Nationals. In the pitching sense, he felt better.

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Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. Read Beck's Blog and follow him on Twitter @beckjason. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Nathan avoids big inning, injury on deflection

Tigers closer limits damage after leadoff double, shakes off barehand play on comebacker

Nathan avoids big inning, injury on deflection

LAKELAND, Fla. -- Joe Nathan made two mistakes with location Sunday. He only paid for one of them.

His elevated fastball to the Nationals' Tyler Moore on his second pitch of the day led to a leadoff double and eventually a run -- his first in four outings since he struggled against the Phillies on March 12. His attempt at a barehand play in the path of Sandy Leon's hard-hit comebacker with runners at the corners and nobody out nearly cost him his ring finger. Luckily for him, it hit a scar from an old basketball injury he suffered in college.

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Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. Read Beck's Blog and follow him on Twitter @beckjason. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

After slow spring, Tigers option top prospect Moya to Triple-A

Outfielder scuffles at plate in second big league camp

After slow spring, Tigers option top prospect Moya to Triple-A

LAKELAND, Fla. -- Steven Moya's Spring Training never developed like he'd hoped. It still hasn't dampened his hopes to getting back to Detroit.

"You'll see me again," he told reporters on their way out Sunday after the Tigers optioned their slugging top prospect to Triple-A Toledo.

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Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. Read Beck's Blog and follow him on Twitter @beckjason. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Price gets practice in damage control against Mets

Tigers' lefty working on improving command of fastball

Price gets practice in damage control against Mets

LAKELAND, Fla. -- David Price has made a mantra of getting outs in three pitches or less, and he takes it into his Spring Training performances. That doesn't mean he won't take something out of a swing and miss every now and then in a Grapefruit League game.

It wasn't the start he wanted against the Mets before a packed Joker Marchant Stadium, but it's a start he'll take.

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Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. Read Beck's Blog and follow him on Twitter @beckjason. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Price goes spring-high 4 1/3 in comeback win over Mets

Left-hander strikes out seven, but allows eight hits

Price goes spring-high 4 1/3 in comeback win over Mets

LAKELAND, Fla. -- Highly-touted Mets prospect Steven Matz more than held his own against Tigers ace David Price on Saturday, but it wasn't enough as the Tigers rallied to a 6-4 victory at Joker Marchant Stadium.

Matz, the Mets' No. 3 overall prospect, fell into an early hole when he served up a two-out solo homer to J.D. Martinez in the first inning, but that would prove to be his lone blemish on the day. The left-hander went on to limit the Tigers to just the one run off three hits and a walk, while also notching one strikeout over 2 2/3 innings.

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Paul Casella is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Price tabbed for Tigers' opener, ending Verlander's streak

Price tabbed for Tigers' opener, ending Verlander's streak

LAKELAND, Fla. -- David Price's status as the Tigers' ace was cemented on Friday morning when manager Brad Ausmus named him the club's Opening Day starter. It marks the first time since 2007 that anyone other than Justin Verlander has gotten the call for Detroit's season opener.

"I'm extremely honored to take the ball on that day, because it's a very special day in baseball," Price said. "It caught me by surprise, to say the least. I definitely thought it'd be Ver out there."

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Paul Casella is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Simon goes three frames after bumpy first vs. Yanks

Righty rebounds after six-run opening inning; Cespedes hits second homer

Simon goes three frames after bumpy first vs. Yanks

LAKELAND, Fla. -- Yankees right-hander Adam Warren made a strong statement in his bid to land a starting gig and Alex Rodriguez hit his second homer of the spring on Friday as the Yanks rolled to an eventual 11-2 victory over the Tigers at Joker Marchant Stadium.

Long before Rodriguez took Tigers reliever Bruce Rondon deep to right field in the fifth inning, however, the Yankees had already pounced all over starter Alfredo Simon earlier in the day. They pushed across six runs on six hits -- including four for extra bases -- off Simon in the first inning alone and, although the righty bounced back with two scoreless innings, the damage had already been done by that point.

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Paul Casella is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Core relievers all submit strong showings for Tigers

Core relievers all submit strong showings for Tigers

LAKELAND, Fla. -- The final score might make it hard to believe that Friday's 11-2 loss to the Yankees was a good day for any Detroit pitchers, but the game actually featured a rather impressive showing from the Tigers' core relievers.

The expected back end of the Tigers' bullpen -- Joe Nathan, Bruce Rondon, Joakim Soria and Joba Chamberlain -- combined to allow just one run on one hit while striking out six batters over four innings. Nathan, Soria and Chamberlain each tossed a perfect frame, while Rondon served up a solo homer to Alex Rodriguez in the midst of striking out the side in the fifth.

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Paul Casella is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.