LAKELAND, Fla. -- Casey Lawrence continued his strong Spring Training with four strikeouts over three scoreless innings, and the Blue Jays' bats got to Jordan Zimmermann -- but a scary incident involving Toronto pitcher TJ House ended the game with one out in the ninth, giving the Blue Jays a
LAKELAND, Fla. -- Casey Lawrence continued his strong Spring Training with four strikeouts over three scoreless innings, and the Blue Jays' bats got to Jordan Zimmermann -- but a scary incident involving Toronto pitcher TJ House ended the game with one out in the ninth, giving the Blue Jays a 6-2 win over the Tigers on Friday at Publix Field at Joker Marchant Stadium.
Coming on to pitch the ninth, House was struck on the head by a John Hicks line drive. He remained on the ground at the pitcher's mound for over 15 minutes while being tended to by training staff before he was loaded into an ambulance on a stretcher, from which he gave a thumbs-up to the crowd. House said in Twitter messages posted about three hours after the game ended that he expected to make a "full recovery."
"Everyone was kind of in agreement at that point," Tigers manager Brad Ausmus said of calling the game early. "You have two outs left in an exhibition game, not to mention you're standing there for however long, 20 minutes."
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Lawrence, who's emerging as a prospect to watch at age 29, yielded two wind-blown bloop singles and two walks but stranded runners in scoring position with a pair of double plays. The right-hander improved his Grapefruit League numbers to eight innings of one-run ball with six strikeouts.
"I think no matter what team you're on, you're just trying to give your team a chance to win," Lawrence said. "If it's in the big leagues, great. If it's in Triple-A, great. I've always kind of been that way, where any time I take the field, I want to give my team a chance to win and, as a player, you can only control so many things. Where I pitch isn't under my control. I can just go out there and make my pitches and make it tough on them."
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Toronto's offense, bolstered by prospects with several regulars off to the World Baseball Classic, supported Lawrence with a five-run second inning, chasing Zimmermann from his third start this spring after just four outs. Darrell Ceciliani and Anthony Alford bookended the rally with doubles, Alford's liner off the right-field wall coming against Jeff Ferrell to drive in former Tiger Ezequiel Carrera.
Zimmermann gave up five runs on as many hits over 1 1/3 innings with a walk and no strikeouts. Jake Elmore and Michigan native Jon Berti had two hits each.
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"I threw a lot of fastballs, a few offspeed pitches, a few good changeups," Zimmermann said. "Just a hair off on the fastball right now, and the slider I was yanking a little bit today. But other than that, I feel good. I feel strong and hopefully that continues."
Justin Upton slugged a two-run homer in the sixth off Toronto reliever Dennis Tepera for Detroit's only runs of the game.
Blue Jays Up Next:Marco Estrada will make his first spring start on Saturday against the Phillies at 1:07 p.m. ET in Dunedin, Fla. The right-hander tossed two scoreless innings in relief in his Grapefruit League debut against the Rays on Sunday. Reigning American League ERA leader Aaron Sanchez is due to make his spring debut out of the bullpen. Listen on Gameday Audio.
Tigers Up Next:Daniel Norris will face the Yankees in Tampa, Fla., for the second time in a week and a half as he tries to reinforce his case for a spot in the Tigers' rotation. Likewise, Masahiro Tanaka will face Detroit for the second time in that span. The 1:05 p.m. ET contest is available on MLB.TV and Gameday Audio.
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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.
Jeff Odom is a contributor to MLB.com and covered the Tigers on Friday.