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Posted on: 03-14-2010

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>>caption:  MAGGLIO ORDONEZ (L)


    The Tigers survived a trio of wind-
assisted Tampa Bay homeruns and beat
the Rays 9-6 Sunday to end Tampa's
9-game exhibition winning streak.
    Rookie leadoff man Austin Jackson keyed the Tiger offense with a 3-for-4, 3-R
effort to boost his Grapefruit LGE bat mark to .429. Jackson's only out was on a
backhanded grab and off-balance throw across the diamond by Rays All-Star 3Bman
Evan Longoria in the B-3rd.
    Jackson gave the Tigers a 1-0/B-1st lead when he beat out an INF-1B and scored
on an RBI-2B by Magglio Ordonez. Austin later tripled twice and scored two more
times, his second three-bagger of the standup variety.      
    Brent Dlugach went 2-for-2 and back-up catching candidate Robinson Diaz & non-
roster INF Jeff Larish each had 2-RBI for Detroit.
    After the Rays had gone ahead 6-4 with a pair of two-run homers in a 5-R/T-7th,
the Tigers went back in front with a 4-R/B-7th. The 6-all tie was broken when show-
footed receivers Max St. Pierre and Diaz both scored on a 2-out, two-base error when
Tampa Bay UTIL Elliot Johnson dropped a Don Kelly flyball in CField.
    Tiger RHP Rick Porcello had his third straight strong start. Porcello went 4-IP to
yield 2-H & 2-W with 1-K, picked a runner off 1Base and remains unscored upon in
his three outings this spring.
    Rays rookie catcher John Jaso took first Tiger reliever Phil Coke deep into the RCF
bullpen for a solo homer (#2) to start Tampa's scoring in the T-5th.     
    T-Bay OFielders Justin Ruggiano (#3) and Sean Rodriguez (#4) each got balls up in
the breeze for a pair of opposite field 2rHR to RField in the T-7th. Ruggiano went yard
off fourth Detroit pitcher Daniel Schlereth and Jackson off fifth Tiger hurler Joel Zumaya
(W, 1-0). Schlereth has been hit hard all month and gave up 4-R/4-ER on 3-H & 1-W in
just a third of an inning to bloat his ERA to 20.25.
    RHP Eddie Bonine and LHP Fu-Te Ni each pitched a perfect relief frame for Detroit
with Bonine getting 2-K and Ni 1-K. Prospect Robbie Weinhardt allowed 1-H in a
scoreless T-9th for the save (#2).
    On a pitch count, Rays starter Jeff Niemann scattered 3-H for 1-R/1-ER with 0-W &
6-K over his 3.2-IP. Third Tampa Bay pitcher, prospect Joe Bateman, gave up 4-R/2-ER
in his 1-IP to suffer the defeat (1-1).
    Jaso went 2-for-2 and Rodniguez & Ruggiano were both 2-for-4 at the plate for the
    The Tigers evened their Grapefruit LGE record at 6-6. The Rays are now 9-3.

    TBAY       6-8-2, 5-LOB       (L) Bateman, 1-1
     DET        9-12-0, 9-LOB     (W) Zumaya, 1-0; (S) Weinhardt, #2


TIGERS SP RICK PORCELLO:   ""I felt pretty good. I'm doing a better job of getting
ahead [in the count]. I'm trying to get a good mix of pitches in there and keep them


    With lots of Rays fans making the 30--45-min drive over to Lakeland from the
Tampa/St. Pete area, the crowd of 9,671 was the fourth largest in Marchant Stadium
history and second largest this spring.
    Former Tiger 1Bman Carlos Pena was warmly welcomed by the audience, but
went 0-for-3 at DH for the Rays.
    Brandon Inge made his second consecutive, cautious, 3-INN appearance at 3Base
for the Tigers. Inge struck-out in his only plate trip.
    Kelly replaced Inge at 3Base and ended up playing all the infield positions except
SStop by the time the game was over.
    Johnny Damon made his first appearance in LField in a week after he'd suffered
a turf toe injury in a home training session. Damon went 1-for-3, an RBI-1B that scored
Jackson in the B-5th.
    Tiger SStop Adam Everett went 0-for-3 and his Grapefruit BA dropped to .056.  
     RHP Armando Galarraga of the Tigers and LHP Marc Rzepzcynski of the Blue Jays are
the scheduled starters when Detroit hosts Toronto Monday afternoon. The game is the
first spring telecast for FSD.


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