Tigers 9, Orioles 5
As the wind whipped around TigerTown and the Detroit Tigers
continued to pile up runs for the second straight game, Justin
Verlander had only one request.
“Please save some of these for the season,” he said after the
Tigers routed the Baltimore Orioles, 9-5, on Saturday.
The Tigers have scored 26 runs in their past two games and
Verlander was concerned that his arm would tighten before his
Grapefruit League debut. Detroit scored six runs before Verlander
got to take the hill, but he went three innings, allowing one run
and a hit while walking two. He was the first Tigers pitcher to go
three innings this spring.
Verlander said he felt like he was in midseason form, but the 45
minutes it took for the Tigers to complete their six-run first
inning was a little longer than he would have liked.
“I’m not getting all excited, but to have a team that can put
up this kind of runs, that’s something,” Verlander said. “I was
just anxious to finally get out there.”
Tigers manager Jim Leyland said that Verlander, normally
high-strung during his games, was pacing the dugout as if it were a
key game in August.
“He told me to tell them to save some runs,” Leyland said.
“He was ready to go, but what do you want me to do about it?”
Verlander led the AL in strikeouts last season and went
He said he spent too much time on locating his pitches during
his disappointing 2008 season and that he just wants to throw his
own game without too much concern for pinpoint accuracy.
Orioles starter Kevin Millwood didn’t fare so well. He didn’t
make it through the first inning in his spring debut, allowing
seven hits and six earned runs while getting just two ots.
Millwood said he wasn’t concerned and that he was working on a
new changeup. Millwood said spring training is a time to work and
to pile up some innings.
“I threw strikes,” Millwood said. “They weren’t all quality
strikes. I don’t feel as bad as it looks. I feel like I made some
quality pitches. I was working on my changeup. Next time, I’ll be
working on something else, and hopefully it won’t go the way it did
today. I went out and tried to work on my change-up. My change-up
is my fourth best pitch, and if I can get it to be just a little
bit better, it’s only going to help.”
Orioles manager Dave Trembley said he knows Millwood will bounce
“He made some good pitches, and they got hit. He made some bad
pitches that got hit,” Trembley said. “I would have liked for him
to get through two, but it didn’t happen. We’re trying to get him
ready for the season to start. He’s got his own routine. I’ve got
no problem with that.”
Clete Thomas and Casper Wells homered for the Tigers who jumped
out to a 6-0 lead in the first and cruised. Thomas, Austin Jackson,
and Don Kelly each had two hits for Detroit.
Ty Wigginton and Rhyne Hughes homered for Baltimore. It was
Hughes’ third homer of the spring.
TIGERS NOTES: Leyland said he was again impressed by LHP Daniel
Schlereth who retired the side in the eighth inning. Schlereth is
on the short list of potential relievers for the Tigers this year
… Leyland also liked the effort by his new closer, Jose Valverde,
who allowed two hits but no runs. “I never judge a closer on his
performance in spring training,” Leyland said. “Closers live on
adrenaline and it isn’t there during spring training .. LHP Bobby
Seay didn’t throw as expected, but he said he is encouraged that
he’ll be ready by Opening Day.