LAKELAND, Fla. -- John Mayberry Jr. hit a seventh-inning solo homer to lift the Tigers to a 6-5 win over the Rays on Tuesday at Joker Marchant Stadium.In a game that saw the teams trade early-inning rallies, the only run from the fifth frame on came from Mayberry, whose first
LAKELAND, Fla. -- John Mayberry Jr. hit a seventh-inning solo homer to lift the Tigers to a 6-5 win over the Rays on Tuesday at Joker Marchant Stadium.
In a game that saw the teams trade early-inning rallies, the only run from the fifth frame on came from Mayberry, whose first blast of the spring came off Rays reliever Jacob Faria.
Shane Greene and Daniel Norris, two top candidates for the fifth spot in the Tigers' rotation, gave up rallies but felt they had better pitches than results. Greene, coming off an encouraging spring debut last week against the Braves, topped out at 96 mph and gave up three runs in a three-batter span of the second inning, including a two-run homer from Kyle Roller.
"That was a fastball," Greene said. "I was trying to go in and I left it middle-up."
The Rays aggressively approached Norris in the fourth inning with four hits, all singles, in a two-run rally. Nick Franklin, trying to make a case for a spot in the Rays' infield, singled and scored for the second time in as many at-bats.
"Obviously you look at the line, five hits, a couple runs, and I care about the results, but at this point I want to my stuff to be there," Norris said. "I was really pleased with that."
Likewise, Rays starter Erasmo Ramirez saw the momentum off his two scoreless innings last week erased in a five-run, seven-hit outburst over two-plus innings against a Tigers offense that continues to produce runs. Ian Kinsler delivered his third multi-run double of the spring -- a two-out, two-run drive to left to take the Spring Training RBI lead with 10.
"Well, I saw they came prepared," Ramirez said. "When I came in to attack the strike zone, they just wanted something around the strike zone. I made a lot of mistakes on the locations of my pitches.
"I prefer this happens during Spring Training. And now I know during the season, don't do it."
Victor Martinez, continuing to produce with his left-handed swing, added two hits off Ramirez. Bruce Rondon hit 101 mph on his fastball in a perfect ninth for the save.
Up Next for Rays: Listen to an exclusive free webcast as right-hander Chris Archer will start against the Blue Jays on Wednesday in a 1:05 p.m. ET contest at Charlotte Sports Park. Also scheduled to make their spring debuts are left-hander Enny Romero and right-hander Alex Colome. They are expected to again be in late-inning roles this season. Because of how much the Rays expect to use them, the club has delayed their use this spring.
Up next for Tigers: Right-hander Justin Verlander will make his second spring start on Wednesday at 1:05 p.m. ET, when the Tigers face the Nationals at Joker Marchant Stadium. Miguel Cabrera, Victor Martinez, Justin Upton, J.D. Martinez, Ian Kinsler and Anthony Gose are among the regulars expected to be in the lineup. The radio broadcast will be available on AM 1270 in Detroit and Gameday Audio.
Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. Read Beck's Blog, follow him on Twitter @beckjason and listen to his podcast.