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Bucs show no Mercer, hit 4 HRs to rout Tigers

MLB.com @beckjason

LAKELAND, Fla. -- Francisco Cervelli's solo home run and Jordy Mercer's grand slam led a four-homer Pirates attack on Justin Verlander and Tigers relievers, powering Pittsburgh to an 11-1 win Thursday afternoon at Publix Field at Joker Marchant Stadium.

Verlander, making his second start, retired the top of the Pirates' lineup in order in the first inning before Cervelli pounced on a first-pitch fastball leading off the second, driving it to the porch atop the left-field berm for his first RBI of the Grapefruit League campaign.

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LAKELAND, Fla. -- Francisco Cervelli's solo home run and Jordy Mercer's grand slam led a four-homer Pirates attack on Justin Verlander and Tigers relievers, powering Pittsburgh to an 11-1 win Thursday afternoon at Publix Field at Joker Marchant Stadium.

Verlander, making his second start, retired the top of the Pirates' lineup in order in the first inning before Cervelli pounced on a first-pitch fastball leading off the second, driving it to the porch atop the left-field berm for his first RBI of the Grapefruit League campaign.

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Video: PIT@DET: Cervelli crushes long solo homer to left

"I'm not concerned with results right now," Verlander said. "I'm concerned with results of my pitches. I'm not concerned with the results of what those guys do with the ball once it's put in play."

Verlander's concern with pitches, not results

Two batters later, Jose Osuna connected on a Verlander changeup and sent it deep to left-center, carried a bit by a breeze blowing out, for Osuna's second spring homer.

"It's been fun to watch him develop over the years," Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said of Osuna. "Our player development people speak very highly of him, of what he's able to bring on the field and in the dugout."

Bucs prospect Osuna stays hot with HR

Video: PIT@DET: Osuna hits solo shot to center

Josh Harrison pushed Verlander to his pitch count for the day with a 10-pitch walk leading off the third. Andrew McCutchen's single and a Cervelli walk loaded the bases on Chad Bell before Mercer emptied them with a drive to the berm in the left-field corner for his first four RBIs this spring. Adam Frazier punctuated the onslaught with a two-run homer later in the inning off Logan Kensing.

Justin Upton's first spring home run comprised the only score in two innings off Pirates starter Steven Brault despite three Tigers hits.

Brault, Williams continue rotation competition

UP NEXT
Pirates: The Bucs return home to Bradenton, where Opening Day starter Gerrit Cole will make his first Grapefruit League start Friday at 1:05 p.m. ET against the Orioles on Gameday Audio. Also pitching for Pittsburgh will be rotation candidates Tyler Glasnow and Drew Hutchison.

Tigers: Matt Boyd makes his second spring start in his quest to hold down his rotation spot as the Tigers visit the Rays in Port Charlotte on Friday at 1:05 p.m. ET.

Watch every out-of-market regular-season game live on MLB.TV.

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.