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Tigers open 50th year at Joker Marchant vs. Orioles

DETROIT -- The Tigers' 2014 season ended all too quickly in three American League Championship Series games against the Orioles. Their preparation for the 2015 season will look awfully familiar, even if both teams look a little different than they did in October.

The Tigers released their 2015 Spring Training schedule on Thursday, looking ahead to their 50th consecutive year of preseason play at Joker Marchant Stadium, and their 79th year in Lakeland, Fla. It'll begin with an early measure against the team that ended the Tigers' title hopes a month ago.

The spring slate begins with the Tigers' traditional exhibition opener at home against Florida Southern College on Monday, March 2, at 1:05 p.m. ET. A day later, Detroit welcomes Baltimore to Joker Marchant Stadium to start a home-and-home set of 1:05 p.m. matchups -- March 3 in Lakeland, then March 4 in Sarasota, Fla.

Add in a March 26 return trip for the Orioles to Lakeland, and the two teams will see each other more often this coming Spring Training than they did over the past three springs combined. The Tigers and O's haven't met in Spring Training since 2012, an odd twist for two teams within a short drive amidst Grapefruit League slates that frequently sent the Tigers to Florida's East Coast instead.

Another AL East foe, the Yankees, will become a familiar sight in the closing weeks of camp. Detroit and New York will face each other four times, including March 20 and April 2 in Lakeland. The Tigers will visit Steinbrenner Field in Tampa, Fla., for a split-squad day game on March 14, and a 7:05 p.m. full-squad meeting on March 24.

Other notable matchups include two games against the NL Central champion Cardinals. Their March 16 matchup at Roger Dean Stadium marks the back half of the Tigers' two-day trip to Jupiter, which begins March 15 against the Marlins. The Tigers and Braves, meanwhile, meet five times -- March 7 and 30 in Lakeland, and March 7, 13 and 22 at Disney's Wide World of Sports Complex in Lake Buena Vista, Fla.

The NL East champion Nationals will face the Tigers four times in a 12-day stretch, trekking across the state to Lakeland on March 17 and 22. The Tigers head to Viera's Space Coast Stadium March 11 and 19.

Detroit bids farewell to Florida for the spring with back-to-back games against the new-look Rays, closing Joker Marchant Stadium on April 3 before heading to Tropicana Field the next day. The Tigers open the regular season at home against the Twins two days later.

All games at Joker Marchant Stadium are slated as 1:05 p.m. starts. The only night games on the schedule are a 6:05 p.m. game against the Pirates on March 18 at McKechnie Field in Bradenton, Fla., and the aforementioned 7:05 p.m. game against the Yankees on March 24 in Tampa.

Tickets for Tigers home games will be priced at three different levels. Individual game tickets go on sale Saturday, Jan. 10, online at, by phone at 866-66-TIGER, or in person at the Joker Marchant Stadium box office. Full-season Spring Training ticket packages go on sale Nov. 17 at, the stadium box office and by phone at 863-686-8075.

Jason Beck is a reporter for Read Beck's Blog and follow him on Twitter @beckjason.
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