PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- Spring, summer, autumn -- it simply does not matter. Miguel Cabrera can hit any time of year.
Cabrera's Grapefruit League tear continued on Tuesday with a solo homer in Detroit's 5-4 loss to the Mets at Tradition Field, giving him three home runs in 35 spring at-bats. Finishing 1-for-3 at the plate, he actually lowered his batting average, to an even .400.
Anchoring a lineup composed mostly of Minor Leaguers and reserve players, Cabrera also added a first-inning sacrifice fly against Mets starter Daisuke Matsuzaka, who allowed four runs in five innings. Despite the rough outing, Matsuzaka struck out five and continues to zero in on the fifth starter's job.
Matsuzaka would have taken the loss had the Mets not rallied in the fifth and sixth innings, finally winning on Andrew Brown's walk-off single in the ninth. Chris Young sparked the comeback with a run-scoring double off reliever Jose Alvarez, an inning before Wilmer Flores brought the Mets within one on an RBI single. Alvarez then threw a wild pitch, allowing Eric Campbell to race home with the tying run.
Tigers starter Kyle Lobstein allowed one run over 2 2/3 innings, lowering his spring ERA to 4.66.
Flores played the entire game at shortstop for the Mets, ranging to his right and making a strong throw across the diamond to rob Steve Lombardozzi of a hit in the ninth.
Up next: The Tigers have their lone off-day of the spring on Wednesday, but Rick Porcello has a day of work on the back fields at Tigertown. He's scheduled to pitch in a Minor League game to stay on turn for his first start of the spring. The full squad returns to action at 1:05 p.m. ET on Thursday, when Max Scherzer makes his next-to-last start of the spring against the Nationals at Space Coast Stadium in Viera, Fla. Ian Kinsler, Alex Avila and Austin Jackson are among the Tigers scheduled for the lineup.