Though the Tigers fell 5-2 to the Nationals, Brennan Boesch rapped out three hits and has done pretty much everything the Detroit's decision makers could ask of him during spring training. Now it's just a waiting game to see if he heads north as a member of the team. I think he does.
Rick Porcello did not have nearly so nice a day. He allowed all five runs, on eight hits and two walks in five innings of work. A pair of fifth-inning home runs helped bring about the early ending to his night, but he struggled with putting batters away on and off throughout his time on the mound. One problem: He didn't keep the ball down very well. One good point: He struck out five.
Quietly having an incredible spring is reliever Joquin Benoit, who struck out the only three batters he saw for the day. He has now pitched nine scoreless innings for Detroit. Jose Valverde allowed a hit but no runs, getting his spring ERA down to 1.00.
The Tigers brought out what is pretty close to what you'd expect for their opening day batting order -- or early-season batting order anyway as at least one change is probable and two might be possible due to facing the left-handed CC Sabathia in the opener. Austin Jackson struck out three times but walked once. Will Rhymes and Magglio Ordonez both had a hit; Ordonez's was a double. Miguel Cabrera was 0-for-4, but Victor Martinez had a pair of hits. Boesch went 3-for-4 batting sixth. Batting seventh, Jhonny Peralta tried to break out of his spring doldrums and had two hits, including a double. Brandon Inge and Alex Avila combined to go 0-for-6 at the bottom.
Detroit scored its only two runs in the bottom of the ninth.