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Tigers split in split-squad competition

Tigers 5, Astros 0

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Justin Verlander went 3 2/3 scoreless innings and the Tigers rapped out 10 hits en route to a 5-0 shutout over the host Houston Astros in Kissimmee today.

Verlander struck out three and allowed three hits in his second appearance of spring. While it's common to see a starting pitcher go three innings in their second start, Verlander went a bit deeper obviously. He was pretty efficient however, taking just 14 batters to get 11 outs. (Not sure about the pitch count of course).

Joquin Benoit, Andy Oliver and Adam Wilk also found good results. Oliver struck out four in two innings without allowing a hit.

Andy Dirks had a double and a triple at the plate for two RBI. Victor Martinez drove in two on two hits as well.

Blue Jays 7, Tigers 4

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Jacob Turner was pretty good; Brayan Villarreal was not. The Tigers led 4-1 before Villarreal was tagged for six runs in the eighth inning. Turner struck out three and allowed three hits. Not that it was all Villarreal's fault either. He could have escaped the game with the score tied, but Gustavo Nunez made a fielding error on what MLive's Steve Kornacki called a "sure double play ball."

In two innings of relief, 36-year-old John Bale continued to state his case for a spot in the bullpen with two scoreless innings.

Casper Wells hit a home run to lead off the seventh inning for the Tigers' main highlight at the plate. Alex Avila went 2-for-3, and Austin Jackson doubled. Miguel Cabrera was 1-for-2 with an RBI.

Injury notes

Magglio Ordonez was held out with a hamstring spasm, not deemed serious. Joel Zumaya will sit a bit longer until he's totally pain free, trainer Kevin Rand said. The inflammation is down. (Source for both notes: MLB.com's Jason Beck)