at Bradenton, Fla.
Wednesday, March 17
Tigers at the plate: Carlos Guillen reached base in all four of his plate appearances. He also drove in two, one on a fourth-inning single and the other via a bases-loaded walk. Outfielder Clete Thomas finished 2-for-4 with an RBI single and run scored. Scott Sizemore and Miguel Cabrera each had RBI singles.Pirates at the plate: Andrew McCutchen finished 2-for-3 and stole his third base of the spring. Outfielder Ryan Church doubled home Bobby Crosby for the Pirates' first of two second-inning runs. Church later came around to score on a balk. Third baseman Pedro Alvarez doubled and scored in the seventh. He has hit safely in six of his last seven games.
Pirates on the mound: Kevin Hart's attempt to win the fifth spot in the rotation took another hit on Wednesday. Hart had to be removed just 1 2/3 innings into his start. He walked six of the 12 batters he faced and hit another. Hart was charged with just one run. Jeff Karstens pitched 1 1/3 innings of scoreless relief. D.J. Carrasco and Brendan Donnelly each allowed their first runs this spring.Worth noting: Players on both clubs wore green hats on Wednesday in honor of St. Patrick's Day. The teams also played with green bases on the field. ... Pirates outfielder Brandon Moss remains hitless this spring after going 0-for-2 on Wednesday. He is now 0-for-19. ... Detroit drew 12 walks off Pittsburgh pitchers.
Grapefruit League records: Tigers 8-7; Pirates 4-9-1Up next for the Tigers: Dontrelle Willis will try to continue his strong spring comeback and further his case to win a rotation spot Thursday when the Tigers host the Astros at 1:05 p.m. ET at Joker Marchant Stadium. Willis, who has given up one run over seven innings in three games this spring, is expected to stretch out further to four innings or 55 to 60 pitches. Brad Thomas, Ryan Perry and Robbie Weinhardt are slated to pitch in relief. Felipe Paulino is scheduled to start for Houston, with former Tigers pitcher Brandon Lyon potentially appearing in relief. Before the game, Max Scherzer is slated to pitch in a simulated game at 11:30 a.m. in the Tigertown complex.
Up next for the Pirates: The Pirates will travel south to Fort Myers, Fla., on Thursday for a 1:05 p.m. contest against the Twins. Shortstop Ronny Cedeno is expected to return to the lineup after missing the club's last two games because of a laceration on his right hand. Cedeno took swings in the batting cage Wednesday and reported no issues with his hand. Right-hander Ross Ohlendorf will make the start for Pittsburgh against Minnesota's Carl Pavano. Relievers Chris Jakubauskas and Javier Lopez are also slated to make an appearance.
Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.