Tigers get to Locke early in rout of Bucs

Salty, Jones go deep for Detroit; Pirates lefty pleased with new delivery

March 2nd, 2016
Tigers catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia launches a solo shot off Pirates reliever Jared Hughes. (AP)

BRADENTON, Fla. -- Pirates left-hander Jeff Locke surrendered four runs in the first inning, but felt good about his revamped mechanics in the Tigers' 10-3 win at McKechnie Field on Wednesday afternoon.

Locke spent the last two months tweaking his windup, removing the exaggerated torso turn in favor of a more direct delivery. Locke hopes the change will lead to a more consistent season. Despite allowing four runs on four hits and a walk in two innings, Locke was encouraged by how he felt in his first Spring Training outing.

"I love it. I know the results are a different thing, but you feel so much better on the mound," Locke said. "We had some pitches that were left up today, but that's going to happen. We're around he zone. We're where we need to be."

The split-squad Tigers took advantage of Locke's early strike-throwing, making loud and consistent contact in the first inning. The first four Detroit hitters reached safely. Wynton Bernard hit a leadoff single, and Jose Iglesias doubled him in. Nick Castellanos knocked an RBI single to left, and Tyler Collins was hit by a pitch.

Collins stole second base -- despite a late send from guest first-base coach Jim Harbaugh, the University of Michigan football coach -- and Castellanos scored on a throwing error by new Pirates first baseman John Jaso. Collins scored on Jarrod Saltalamacchia's double to left.

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Saltalamacchia struck again in the sixth, launching a solo home run to right field off Pirates reliever Jared Hughes.

In Detroit's five-run eighth, JaCoby Jones belted a two-run homer to right-center off Eric O'Flaherty.  

Up next for Tigers:Miguel Cabrera and Victor Martinez return to the Tigers lineup when they visit Disney's Wide World of Sports complex Thursday for a 1:05 p.m. ET game against the Braves on Gameday Audio. Daniel Norris will make his first start, followed by fellow fifth-starter candidate Shane Greene. Mark Lowe, Justin Wilson and Preston Guilmet are also scheduled to pitch. Ian Kinsler will join Cabrera and Martinez against Braves starter Bryan Mitchell.

Up next for the Pirates: Left-hander Jon Niese, acquired this offseason in the Neil Walker trade, will make his Pittsburgh debut as the Bucs host the Blue Jays at McKechnie Field. Starter Ryan Vogelsong, who returned to Pittsburgh as a free agent this offseason, is also scheduled to pitch. Hall of Fame hockey broadcaster Mike "Doc" Emrick will call an inning or two of the game, which begins at 1:05 p.m. ET, from the Bucs' radio booth. The broadcast will be available for free on Gameday Audio.