DETROIT--The wind was blowing in Lakeland on Saturday but that didn't prevent Max Scherzer from having an easy eight pitch first inning. It was the next three innings which gave him trouble. Scherzer allowed one home run and two triples which accounted for the Astros other two RBI and gave up a rare 3 consecutive hits in the second. Despite his troubles, 51 of the 77 pitches he threw were strikes and he walked no one while striking out six in 4 2/3 innings
The Tigers offense however did not struggle and they picked up where they left off in Friday's game, backing up Scherzer with 11 runs in just three innings. In the first inning alone they sent 10 to the plate and put six of eight hits on the board.
Torii Hunter and Nick Castellanos both doubled in the first inning and the only hitter who didn't reach was Miguel Cabrera until Victor Martinez came up for a second at-bat and grounded out to an inning-ending double play.
Tyler Collins tripled to start the second, Hunter grounded out to plate Collins, Danny Worth tripled for an RBI and Ian Kinsler hit a 2-run home run bomb to left center field. By the end of the second every Tigers player had reached base at least once and of the 18 who came to bat in 2 innings, 10 of 12 had scored.
Astros pitcher Josh Harrell was finished after only two innings in which he gave up 10 runs on 12 hits, nine of which were earned.
Collins was 3-5 with a single in the first, a triple in the second, and a solo home run to right center field. He would have had the chance to hit for the cycle if Avila hadn't gone down swinging for the final out in the eighth.
Hunter went 2-3 with a walk but his groundout in the second got a man home. He hit a fly ball double to right center which plated the first two runs of the game, singled to left and stole his second base in two consecutive days.
Castellanos and Worth both went 3-4 which accounted for four of the runs earned by the Tigers. Steve Lombardozzi was 2-4, one which was ground ball single in the first to make the score 6-0 Tigers and the other was a sacrifice fly in the sixth for a 13-3 lead over the Astros.
But the big man of the day was Ian Kinsler who hit two home runs and went 3-3 with a walk. He hit a fly ball to right in the first, a 2-run homer to left center in the second, and a solo dinger in the fourth. Both home runs were no doubters.
Victor Martinez got his first start behind the plate and caught three innings before Avila came out to replace him. Avila hit a double to the right field corner and struck out once. The Tigers capitalized on 14 of the 18 hits they produced and had no errors. Five Tigers hitters were also walked.
Sunday the Tigers will go on their first road trip after spending the last three days in Lakeland. They will face the Washington Nationals in the next two games, tomorrow's which will be a split squad game. The game will be available on MLB.tv as well as audio.
Justin Verlander will take the mound against the Nationals in his second start of spring training while the Tigers face righty Jordan Zimmermann. Detroit Free Press' Anthony Fenech reported that Tigers manager Brad Ausmus was informed by pitching coach Jeff Jones that Verlander will have a 70-pitch limit.