Zimmermann tosses three scoreless innings; Tigers top Astros 7-3
KISSIMMEE, Fla. (AP) -- Jordan Zimmermann pitched three shutout innings and Ian Kinsler hit one of three home runs by the Detroit Tigers on Wednesday in their 7-3 win over the Houston Astros.
Mike Gerber and Bryan Holaday homered for the Tigers in the first inning off Houston starter Brad Peacock. Kinsler's homer came off Dan Straily in the sixth.
Zimmermann started his third spring game by striking out Jose Altuve, George Springer and Carlos Correa in the first inning and finished by picking Correa off second base in the third. He gave up two hits and hit two batters while striking out three.
The 29-year-old right-hander, who signed with the Tigers as a free agent, was chosen Wednesday to pitch Detroit's home opener on April 8 against the New York Yankees.
"I've heard, it's pretty crazy," Zimmermann said. "I'm excited, and hopefully I'll give `em a good showing."
Zimmermann threw his 57 pitches on a day with temperatures in the mid-80s, considerably warmer than Detroit in early April.
"That shouldn't be a problem," said Zimmermann, who grew up in Wisconsin. "I've pitched in snow before. I've pitched in some horrible weather. So if it's 40 degrees, I'll be fine."
Ausmus named Justin Verlander to start the Tigers' season opener at Miami on April 5, the first of two season-opening road games. The manager said the honor of throwing the first pitch of the year at Comerica Park made it worth sliding Zimmermann back one game.
"You want to have your best starters pitching as often as possible during the course of the season," Ausmus said. "But to me, opening day for the Detroit Tigers is a special day."
Peacock gave up three runs on three hits in his start of the spring, going three innings.
Jon Singleton drove in three runs for the Astros with a double and his second home run.
MCCULLERS NO START
RHP Lance McCullers learned Wednesday he won't start the season with the Astros because there is not enough time left to get his sore shoulder ready. "We haven't got to the point yet where we're talking about when we're going to throw, how long it's going to be, that kind of stuff," said McCullers, who has not pitched in spring training. "It's frustrating because you would want to be a little more specific and you would want this date picked out and that date picked out, but in this situation it's not like that."
Tigers: RHP Anibal Sanchez (inflamed right triceps) threw 45 pitches in a simulated game in the morning and is scheduled to make his first start Monday. At most he will get three spring starts. ... DH Victor Martinez is not going to play for the next several days to rest his strained left hamstring.
Astros: RHP Luke Gregerson (left intercostal strain) pitched a shutout inning in a minor league game, his first inning of the spring.
Tigers: RHP Mike Pelfrey will make his fourth start against the St. Louis Cardinals in Lakeland.
Astros: Mike Feliz will face the Toronto Blue Jays in his first start in Kissimmee, and Mike Fiers will pitch against the Atlanta Braves at Disney.