LAKELAND, Fla. — Miguel Cabrera hit his second home run of the spring and raised his average to .385, leading the Detroit Tigers past the St. Louis Cardinals 4-3 Saturday.
Cabrera was playing in his sixth game of the spring while recovering from offseason surgery on his right ankle. It was his sixth straight game of the spring and he will sit out Sunday against Philadelphia.
Shane Greene, acquired during the offseason from the New York Yankees, allowed three runs in five innings for the Tigers. He also walked three while striking out six.
"I’m just trying to make pitches and build for the season," he said. "I’ve felt better every time out. For opening day, I couldn’t be more ready."
Greene is penciled in at the No. 4 or 5 slot in the Tigers’ rotation behind David Price, Justin Verlander and Anibal Sanchez. Alfredo Simon is also at the back end of the rotation.
Alex Avila homered for the Tigers.
Cardinals: Lance Lynn started his third game of the spring and allowed six hits and two runs in five innings. He walked none and struck out five.
Cardinals: LHP Jamie Garcia has told the team he has some problems with his surgically repaired left shoulder. He went 3-1 with a 4.12 ERA seven starts for the Cardinals last season and was expected to vie for the fifth spot in the rotation. Manager Mike Matheny said there were no immediate plans for an MRI.
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"Now it’s hit the brakes and that takes time," Matheny said.
Garcia was supposed to start on Sunday, but Matheny immediately shut him down indefinitely.
Tigers: Verlander is still struggling with a cramp in his right triceps, but isn’t expected to miss a start. He came out of Friday’s game against the Toronto Blue Jays.
"He was a little sore today," said Tigers manager Brad Ausmus. "We aren’t ruling out that it is a strain. If it is a strain, it is extremely mild. I’ve never heard of a strained tricep."
Ausmus said he is confident that Cabrera and Victor Martinez will be ready for opening day. He is more confident in Cabrera, but both have played the last several games and not shown any signs of the injuries that have delayed their spring training.
"I’d be surprised if ‘Miggy’ isn’t ready for opening day," Ausmus said. "I’d be more surprised about Victor."
RHP Bruce Rondon is day to day with neck stiffness. Ausmus said it isn’t anything serious. Rondon missed all of 2014 after right elbow reconstructive surgery last spring.
Cardinals: Rookie Marco Gonzalez will make his fifth appearance of the spring in Jupiter, against the New York Mets.
Tigers: Sanchez will head to Clearwater to take on the Philadelphia Phillies. It will be his sixth start of the spring.
The normally slow-footed Tigers lead the majors in stolen bases this spring with 25. Anthony Gose has five and Wynton Bernard and Jose Iglesias have three.
Iglesias had a single, but his spring batting average is still only .105. Ausmus said he had no concerns and was happy that Iglesias has played three straight full games at shortstop after missing all of 2014 with stress fractures in both shins.