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Nava, Phils strike early against Verlander

March 29, 2017

LAKELAND, Fla. -- Daniel Nava's three-run homer spoiled Justin Verlander's final Spring Training tuneup and the Tigers' spring home finale, sending the Phillies to an 8-2 win Wednesday at Publix Field at Joker Marchant Stadium.Verlander, who will make his ninth Opening Day start for the Tigers on Monday against the

LAKELAND, Fla. -- Daniel Nava's three-run homer spoiled Justin Verlander's final Spring Training tuneup and the Tigers' spring home finale, sending the Phillies to an 8-2 win Wednesday at Publix Field at Joker Marchant Stadium.
Verlander, who will make his ninth Opening Day start for the Tigers on Monday against the White Sox in Chicago, ramped up his fastball to 97 mph on the stadium radar gun, but battled his command over an abbreviated 63-pitch, three-inning performance. Michael Saunders tripled home Odubel Herrera in the opening inning before a Cesar Hernandez leadoff bunt single and Herrera walk set up Nava in the third.
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Verlander put Nava in a 1-2 count but hung a slider and paid for it. Nava deposited his first home run of the spring into the right-field party patio.
Verlander gave up four runs on five hits with a walk and three strikeouts. He finished with a 3.16 spring ERA.
"I think I accomplished what I wanted to," Verlander said. "I think I'm ahead of where I was at this time last year, but spring doesn't really dictate anything going into the season."
Mike Pelfrey, whose roster situation seems to be in flux as camp nears its end, struck out four over three innings of relief, but gave up back-to-back sixth-inning homers to Rhys Hoskins and Brock Stassi.

Phillies starter Luis Garcia surrendered five hits over two innings, but held the damage to two runs. Ian Kinsler doubled and scored on a Nicholas Castellanos single to jump-start a two-run opening inning. Cesar Ramos tossed two scoreless innings of relief with three strikeouts.
Phillies Up Next: The Phillies play their penultimate Grapefruit League game at 1:05 p.m. ET on Thursday, facing the Yankees at Spectrum Field on MLB.TV. Right-hander Jerad Eickhoff (1-2, 4.26 ERA) makes his final start. He will pitch for the Phillies next Wednesday against the Reds in Cincinnati.
Tigers Up Next: After Matt Boyd beat out Anibal Sanchez for a spot in the rotation, the two will team up for a piggyback start Thursday, when the Tigers visit the Orioles for a 1:05 p.m. game on MLB.TV at Ed Smith Stadium in Sarasota, Fla.
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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.