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Fulmer returns healthy as J.D. heats up

MLB.com @beckjason

LAKELAND, Fla. -- Michael Fulmer returned to action against his former organization by retiring the first six Mets he faced, before Omar Infante's two doubles led a Tigers comeback for a 4-3 win over the Mets Sunday at Publix Field at Joker Marchant Stadium.

Fulmer, pitching for the first time in 12 days after a right ankle sprain scratched him from his last turn through Detroit's rotation, struck out the first three batters he faced, including Michael Conforto on a changeup. He retired the Mets in order again in the second before Phillip Evans' leadoff single set up a long third inning.

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LAKELAND, Fla. -- Michael Fulmer returned to action against his former organization by retiring the first six Mets he faced, before Omar Infante's two doubles led a Tigers comeback for a 4-3 win over the Mets Sunday at Publix Field at Joker Marchant Stadium.

Fulmer, pitching for the first time in 12 days after a right ankle sprain scratched him from his last turn through Detroit's rotation, struck out the first three batters he faced, including Michael Conforto on a changeup. He retired the Mets in order again in the second before Phillip Evans' leadoff single set up a long third inning.

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Fulmer doesn't skip a beat in return to mound

Evans' single was a sinking liner in front of center fielder Mikie Mahtook. Four pitches later, L.J. Mazzilli sent Mahtook scrambling with a drive off the fence. He scored when Patrick Biondi sent a liner into the left-field corner. Mazzilli added a sacrifice fly off Alex Wilson in the fourth.

Video: NYM@DET: Mazzilli ropes an RBI double to center field

Fulmer allowed two runs on three hits in 2 1/3 innings with four strikeouts. He threw 30 of 44 pitches for strikes, including eight swing-and-misses.

"I felt good," Fulmer said. "I don't think it was fatigue setting in, maybe a little bit in the legs, just leaving balls up and getting behind guys. They had a couple hard-hit balls in the third and ultimately scored a couple runs. But overall, I think it's just minor changes, and that's part of Spring Training. I think the more outings I have, the more buildup I get, hopefully they'll be more [like] the first couple innings."

Former Tigers prospect Adam Wilk protected his advantage with 2 2/3 scoreless innings before J.D. Martinez chased him with a double to the wall in left-center. Infante, who made an acrobatic play up the middle to rob Wilmer Flores in the fourth, doubled and scored in the fifth before his drive down the left-field line pulled the Tigers ahead in the sixth.

Video: NYM@DET: Martinez blasts a solo homer to left field

Martinez, 3-for-23 in Grapefruit League play entering Sunday, also homered to left. Infante, a non-roster invite to camp, improved to 8-for-20 for the spring as he tries to win a utility spot on the Tigers roster or earn a look from another team.

Former Met Mike Pelfrey, beleaguered in his quest to win back a spot in the Tigers' rotation, earned the win with three perfect innings of relief, striking out two in by far his best outing this spring.

Mets Up Next: Noah Syndergaard, who has been battling a flu bug, will make his third Grapefruit League start when the Mets return to First Data Field for a 1:10 p.m. ET game Monday against the Marlins. Despite his illness, Syndergaard hit 100 mph in his last outing, and he has not allowed a run this spring.

Tigers Up Next: Justin Verlander and Stephen Strasburg match up Monday when the Tigers begin a two-game trip to Florida's Atlantic coast with a 1:05 p.m. ET game against the Nationals. Nicholas Castellanos is expected to return to the lineup as the designated hitter. Listen to the game live on 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.