Cespedes off to slammin' start, Tigers rout Orioles
LAKELAND, Fla. (AP) Yoenis Cespedes hit a grand slam in his first game for Detroit, Ian Kinsler added a three-run homer and the Tigers routed the Baltimore Orioles 15-2 Tuesday in a spring training opener.
Cespedes connected in the fourth inning for an 11-0 lead. The Tigers got the slugger from Boston in an offseason trade.
Coming off a disappointing year, Baltimore starter Ubaldo Jimenez allowed six runs in 1 1-3 innings. He walked two, hit two batters and made a throwing error.
Jimenez said he was working on pitches and wasn't concerned about his performance.
''All I can say is I did what I wanted to do,'' Jimenez said. ''I like my fastball and there's no reason to change anything. I expect more out of my control, but the error is the main thing that bothered me.''
Four Detroit batters were hit by pitches. Third baseman Nick Castellanos was hit in the left hand and exited soon after that, but manager Brad Ausmus said he might play Wednesday.
Kyle Lobstein, vying for the final spot in the Tigers' rotation, allowed two hits in two shutout innings. He began last year at Triple-A before going 1-2 with a 4.35 ERA in six starts for Detroit at the end of the season.
''I am kind of the sixth starter right now,'' Lobstein said. ''It's kind of the same situation as last year, but this year I feel more prepared.''
Lobstein went 1-2 with a 4.35 earned run average in six starts for the Tigers last season.
Orioles: Showalter said it is far too early in the spring to be worried about Jimenez. ''He just has to throw strikes,'' Showalter said.
Tigers: Tigers manager Brad Ausmus said he liked what he saw from Lobstein but it was too early to concede a spot in the rotation. The Tigers have David Price, Justin Verlander, Anibal Sanchez and Alfredo Simon already in place, leaving one opening.
Orioles: Showalter said there were no injuries to report.
Tigers: SS Jose Iglesias skipped this game but plans to start on Wednesday in Sarasota. Iglesias all of last season with stress fractures in both legs. ... DH Victor Martinez was at camp and said he is coming along nicely from a knee injury sustained playing catch with his brother on his front lawn during the offseason.
''I'm glad to be back and glad to start doing some baseball activity,'' he said. ''I'm just getting my strength back. I just started hitting for the first time. We keep moving forward.
Ausmus said that Martinez's return was a ''grey area.''
Orioles: Kevin Gausman will make the start Wednesday in Sarasota against the Tigers.
Tigers: Sanchez will make his spring debut followed by Ian Krol, Al Albuquerque, Blaine Hardy and Drew VerHagen.
TIME OF THE GAME
Ausmus said he hardly noticed a change in the first game under baseball's new pace of play changes. Tuesday's game lasted just under three hours despite the high score. He said he thinks the changes will hardly matter.