Tigers ace delivers five clean frames as Carrera sparks offense in win
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- With the start of the regular season a little more than a week away, Julio Teheran and Justin Verlander indicated they are ready to make their respective Opening Day starts.
Verlander delivered five scoreless innings and Ezequiel Carrera highlighted a two-run fourth inning with a double that propelled the Tigers to a 3-0 win over the Braves on Friday afternoon at Champion Stadium.
Teheran surrendered just two hits and was perfect in four of his six innings. But the right-hander paid for the mistake he made in the fourth, which began with Ian Kinsler drawing a walk. Carrera followed with a double to right field and then advanced to third base on an errant fastball that nearly hit Miguel Cabrera in the head before traveling to the backstop.
After gaining a bigger cushion when Carrera scored on a Victor Martinez groundout, Verlander completed his strong five-inning effort, during which he scattered five hits and notched four strikeouts. The ace pitched around Jason Heyward's leadoff single in the first and escaped threats in the second and fifth innings.
Philip Gosselin doubled with one out in the second inning and then advanced to third base when Tyler Greene followed with a single. Greene got picked off when he raced toward second base after Verlander made a pickoff throw to third.
The first of Ramiro Pena's two doubles and a Teheran single helped the Braves load the bases with two outs in the fifth inning. But that threat ended with B.J. Upton grounding out to Kinsler at second.
Up next: The Tigers will travel to Dunedin, Fla., on Saturday to take on the Blue Jays at 1:05 p.m. ET, live on MLB.TV. Southpaws Kyle Lobstein and Blaine Hardy are scheduled to pitch, along with righty Luke Putkonen. Regulars in the starting lineup include Martinez -- who will catch and lead off -- and Cabrera.