Tigers top Team Italy in ninth inning

Tigers top Team Italy in ninth inning

TIGERS 6, ITALY 5
at Lakeland, Fla.
Saturday, March 4

Tigers at the plate: Kevin Hooper opened Detroit's scoring by singling in Reggie Taylor in the fifth inning. Chris Shelton drove in Kody Kirkland in the sixth before Mike Hessman hit a game-tying three-run homer. Kirkland ended it with an RBI double to deep center with two outs in the ninth. Cameron Maybin, the Tigers' first-round pick in last June's First-Year Player Draft, singled and struck out twice.

Italy at the plate: Dustin Delluchi drove in two runs in a four-run fifth inning.

Tigers on the mound: Kenny Rogers pitched three scoreless innings in his first start of the spring before Team Italy pounced on Franklyn German for four runs in the fifth. He was pulled with one out in the inning in favor of Humberto Sanchez, who gave up a run in 1 2/3 innings. Jamie Walker, Matt Mantei and Kevin Hodge tossed a scoreless inning apiece.

Italy on the mound: Starter Lenny DiNardo and Tony Fiore each pitched scoreless innings, with Fiore striking out two. Miceli suffered the loss with two walks and a double in the ninth.

Up next: The Tigers welcome the Pirates to Joker Marchant Stadium for a 1:05 p.m. ET game. Jeremy Bonderman will make his first start of Spring Training, followed by Chad Durbin, Preston Larrison, Eulogio De La Cruz and Chris Spurling. Brandon Duckworth will start for the Pirates. Carlos Guillen and Magglio Ordonez are likely to rejoin the Tigers on Sunday for at least one more game.

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