LAKELAND, Fla. -- Prince Fielder finally got to do what he couldn't as a kid. He took a big hacking swing on the field at Joker Marchant Stadium. The result was fittingly dramatic.
"As long as it's not caught, I'm happy," Fielder said of his first home run in a Tigers uniform.
The Tigers had nine homers from eight different players, including two from Ryan Raburn, in their 18-3 win against the Braves on Sunday. A gusty wind blowing across the outfield and out to right helped quite a few of them along. Fielder's shot, though, was a no-doubter from contact.
He pulled a fastball from Julio Teheran, the No. 4 prospect in all of baseball according to MLB.com, and sent a liner off the light pole in right field. The ball hit at almost the same height as the scoreboard to the center-field side of it. Without the wind, he might have had a chance to knock out a bulb or two on the board, which would've been the only power outage on a day like this.
"It's pretty simple today," manager Jim Leyland said. "They could've gotten the ball up in the air to right field. They didn't. We did."
It was a little more complicated than that, but it had that feeling.
"After batting practice, I thought there would be a lot of home runs. But I've never seen anything like this," said catcher Alex Avila, who hit a tape-measure home run to near straightaway center field, just to the right of the batting eye.
Fielder isn't ceding anything to the wind.
"Nah, none of them are wind-aided," he said with a smile. "It's not our fault. I didn't tell the wind to do that."