Sanchez, Tigers pitchers shine against Braves

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Strong pitching and a sharp defense kept the Atlanta Braves scoreless in game six of spring training.

DETROIT--Offensively there wasn't much going on, but defensively it was an entirely different story. In fact, there was a full fledged pitching battle going on between the Tigers and Braves on a sun-soaked Sunday in Kissimmee, FL.

The two respective dugouts were only along for the ride and after 10 long innings and a short rain delay in the ninth, the game ended in a draw.

Anibal Sanchez made his Grapefruit League debut Sunday and delivered two scoreless innings, allowing only one fly ball double by Ryan Doumit in the second inning. He walked no one, was consistently ahead of the count, and had good speed on his pitches.

Robbie Ray pitched the next two innings and while he gave up two singles, two groundout double plays kept it a scoreless game. Joe Nathan came out for the fifth and delivered a solid 1-2-3 inning. Joba Chamberlain allowed two singles in the sixth but one grounded out into a double play and the other induced a 9-5-6 play which ended the third base threat.

Blaine Hardy pitched the seventh and eighth innings and allowed no base hits in the seventh. He allowed a single and a walk in the eighth but nothing resulted from it. The ninth inning was handled by Luke Putkonen who forced two batters to go down swinging and the other to pop out to the second baseman Devon Travis.

There was a slight rain delay in the bottom of the ninth but it didn't prevent Jose Valdez from coming out to close the tenth inning in 1-2-3 fashion.

Altogether, seven Tigers batters reached base, seven struck struck out and two were walked. Three runners were left stranded in scoring position. Left fielder Andy Dirks was hit by a pitch in the 2nd inning by starting pitcher Alex Wood and Devon Travis had a stolen base in his only at-bat of the game.

Tomorrow the Detroit Tigers will host the St. Louis Cardinals with lefty Drew Smyly as their starting pitcher. The Tigers lineup will face right-handed pitcher Joe Kelly.

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