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Detroit 1, New York 1: Below, Balester give Tigers some things to think about

Final - 3.25.2012 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 R
Detroit Tigers 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1
New York Yankees 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1

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Derek Jeter had a leadoff home run against fifth-starter candidate Duane Below, but turned out to be the Yankees' only run of the game against the split-squad Tigers. Detroit answered in the third inning when Ramon Santiago drove in Danny Worth. But that turned out to be the Tigers' only run. In the end, sister kissing commenced.

Tigers manager Jim Leyland traveled with this squad because he wanted to see Below pitch. The ffith-starter was tasked with facing essentially the Yankees' opening day lineup. He had a few hiccups along the way, and only lasted 3 2/3 innings. But the important factor was that he survived the start on three hits and a walk. (He did get a little help from his defense, but that's why it's there, right?) After Jeter's homer, Below made it through the next three batters in order to get out of the first. Below gave up doubles in the second and third innings -- plus a walk in the second -- but that was it. I suspect it went a long way toward making his case ahead of Andy Oliver, but that can change on Tuesday when both Oliver and Drew Smyly pitch.

Collin Balester stumbled, although he didn't allow any runs. In 2 1/3 innings, he walked four and allowed two hits. That he got out of it without allowing a run seems surprising.

Of course, all the talk lately has been about Quintin Berry's chances of making the team. A non-roster invitee, he's had a great spring. I think you still have to call him a long shot based on his past history (career minor leaguer, unimpressive career OPS of .697). But he did do this. So that's always cool.