Smyly allows three runs, all coming via homers, over five innings
LAKELAND, Fla. -- Giancarlo Stanton's fifth home run of the spring cleared the berm in left-center field at Joker Marchant Stadium, one of two Marlins blasts off Tigers starter Drew Smyly, leading Miami to an 8-4 win over Detroit on Sunday.
The Tigers made a late run, tying the game at 4 thanks to Danny Worth's three-run homer off Henry Rodriguez in the eighth. However, the Marlins plated four runs off Joe Nathan in the ninth. Brian Bogusevic knocked an RBI double and Jeff Mathis drilled a two-run double.
Mathis' first homer this spring accounted for the other run off Smyly, who paid for the homers, but could've fared worse after giving up eight hits over five innings. Reed Johnson's fifth-inning double to left was the only other extra-base hit he gave up, but Stanton converted it with one of the deepest drives in the current configuration of the ballpark.
"Sometimes I don't watch it," Smyly said of the Stanton homer, "but that one I was like, 'Let's see how far this one's going.' I looked up and I thought it was going to go over the light pole. It puts a damper on my day for the last inning, but at the same time, I thought I battled pretty well."
The drive sailed just to the left of the center field batter's eye, landing on the other side of the berm that separates the stadium from the Al Kaline practice field.
The homers provided an early lead for Marlins starter Jacob Turner, who lost out to Smyly in the bid for Detroit's fifth starter's spot in 2012 before he was traded to Miami later that year. Turner retired the first 11 batters he faced until Miguel Cabrera walked. Detroit's first hit didn't arrive until Austin Jackson sent a ground ball through the left side for a leadoff single in the fifth.
Jackson's steal of second base and Alex Avila's bloop single set up a run when Casey McGehee couldn't handle Bryan Holaday's grounder to third. Turner regrouped to retire new Tigers shortstop Andrew Romine on a double play to end the threat.
Turner stuck out five Tigers over six innings of three-hit ball, continuing his solid spring.
Up next: While Anibal Sanchez returns to game action Monday by pitching in a Minor League game at Tigertown, Rick Porcello follows the Major League team and the national television cameras to Bradenton for a 1:05 p.m. ET contest against the Pirates at McKechnie Field. Austin Jackson is also expected to make the trip. Rajai Davis, who is recovering from tightness in his right hamstring will play in the Minor League game along with Sanchez. The game is the first of back-to-back Tigers Spring Training contests on ESPN this week. Fans can also tune in live to the contest on MLB.TV.