LAKELAND, Fla. -- Alex Monsalve and Christian Lopes belted solo homers off Tigers closer Francisco Rodriguez in the ninth inning to give a split-squad Blue Jays club a 4-3 victory Sunday at Publix Field at Joker Marchant Stadium.Nicholas Castellanos homered for one Tigers run and hit an opposite-field double to
LAKELAND, Fla. -- Alex Monsalve and Christian Lopes belted solo homers off Tigers closer Francisco Rodriguez in the ninth inning to give a split-squad Blue Jays club a 4-3 victory Sunday at Publix Field at Joker Marchant Stadium.
Nicholas Castellanos homered for one Tigers run and hit an opposite-field double to set up another, supporting Jordan Zimmermann over his 5 1/3 innings.
Castellanos, whose standout spring has built hopes of a breakout year in his fourth Major League season, jumped on a first-inning pitch from Toronto starter Casey Lawrence and sent it all the way over the berm in the left-field corner for a solo homer, his fourth of the spring. Two innings later, Castellanos sent another Lawrence offering off the right-field wall for a one-out double and scored on Jose Cabrera's ground-ball single through the middle.
Zimmermann held Toronto to a run on two hits, totaling 88 pitches thanks to 20 over his final two batters. Kendrys Morales singled and scored on prospect Ryan McBroom's sacrifice fly before McBroom tied the game at 2 with a seventh-inning solo homer off Bruce Rondon.
"I'm feeling awesome and amazing," Zimmermann said, "and I'm ready to get out there and get under the lights and play some meaningful games."
Rodriguez, making his first Major League appearance since returning from the World Baseball Classic -- and just his second appearance for the Tigers all spring -- struck out McBroom in the ninth, but he gave up the dual homers to left-center. The Tigers got a run back in the bottom of the inning after Jeff Beliveau walked the bases loaded but couldn't get the tying run in from third.
Up next for the Blue Jays:Aaron Sanchez will make his second-to-last spring start when the Blue Jays host the Phillies in a rare spring night game on Monday night. First pitch is scheduled for 6:08 p.m. ET under the bright lights at Florida Auto Exchange Stadium, and fans can listen to an exclusive audio webcast. Sanchez has allowed six runs over 7 1/3 innings, and after getting up to 3 1/3 innings during his last outing, the reigning AL-ERA leader should be in the range of five innings on Monday. Most of Toronto's regular starting lineup is expected to play.
Up Next for the Tigers:Daniel Norris makes the trek up Interstate 4 to the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex one more time as he faces the Braves in a 6:05 p.m. ET on Monday, and fans can watch the action live on MLB.TV. Expect many Tigers regulars to accompany him with the camp roster whittled down. Mike Foltynewicz will start for Atlanta.
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Jason Beck has covered the Tigers for MLB.com since 2002. Read Beck's Blog, follow him on Twitter @beckjason and listen to his podcast.
Gregor Chisholm has covered the Blue Jays for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB and Facebook, and listen to his podcast.