Detroit 2, Atlanta 0: Near no-hitter in Grapefruit opener as Tigers blank Braves

March 3, 2012; Orlando, FL, USA; Detroit Tigers center fielder Austin Jackson (14) smiles at Detroit Tigers third baseman Miguel Cabrera (24) before the game against the Atlanta Braves at Champion Stadium. The Tigers beat the Braves 2-0. Mandatory Credit: Daniel Shirey-US PRESSWIRE

Final - 3.3.2012 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Detroit Tigers 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 2 10 0
Atlanta Braves 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0
WP: Doug Fister (1 - 0)
SV: Luis Marte (1)
LP: Anthony Varvaro (0 - 1)

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I know what you really want to know. "OK, who gave up the hit?" Tigers reliever Chris Bootcheck to Jordan Parraz with no outs in the eighth inning. Bootcheck recovered to keep the next three Braves off the bases.

Eight Tigers pitchers -- led by starter Doug Fister, combined for a shutout. (Obviously.)

The only other plot line of note was Brandon Inge's first start at second base. Tigers beat writers seemed to be impressed by him.

Chris Iott of MLive wrote:

Inge made a diving catch to his right early in the game that looked a lot like many catches he has made at third over the years. With two outs in the fifth, he made a nice backhanded grab deep behind second base and flipped to shortstop Jhonny Peralta to end the inning.

"They were both real good plays," Leyland said.

Still, that Inge seemed to make the transition across the infield doesn't seem to be that big of a surprise. He is, after all, quite an athletic player.

The concern, the key really, was Inge had Inge-y results at the plate: 0-for-2 with a strikeout and four left on base.

You hate to watch spring training statistics too closely. (At least, you should. Please, I beg of you, remember not to put too dang much emphasis on spring stats.) But Inge really does have to show capability at the plate if he wants any amount of playing time. A poor spring showing may even cost him a spot in the organization.

Finally, I guess I could point out Prince Fielder went 2-for-2 to remain perfect through two games.

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