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Detroit Tigers split a pair of exhibition games, but here's what matters

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Mike Pelfrey looked good, while a lot of other pitchers did not.

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The Detroit Tigers played two more exhibition games in the Grapefruit League season on Wednesday, this time against the New York Yankees and the Pittsburgh Pirates. The Yankees won a slugfest by a 10-9 scoreline, while the Tigers defeated the Pirates by a 10-3 score, but here is what you really need to know about the day's events.

The game on TV (Yankees)

Mike Pelfrey got the start for Detroit against New York and pitched three perfect innings, setting down all nine Yankees he faced. True to form, Pelfrey recorded five outs on grounders to go with a pair of fly balls and two strikeouts in his Tigers debut.

Cameron Maybin, who began the spring with a sore shoulder and was limited to designated hitting duties, took a fastball off the wrist from Yankee starter Luis Severino in the second inning, which sent him to the ground in pain.  He got up and took his base, eventually coming around to score with apparently no lasting damage.

Bryan Holaday, who is out of options and fighting for a spot on the opening day roster with Jarrod Saltalamacchia, hit a grand slam in the second inning to left center field and added a double in the sixth inning.  Ian Kinsler added a solo shot, and Steven Moya hit two run blast to pace the Tigers' offensive attack. The Tigers put the first seven runs on the board, but you know this is spring training.

Once Pelfrey had left the game, the Tigers' bullpen served up a reminder of why they play spring training games. Drew VerHagen gave up three runs on three hits and a walk in 2/3 of an inning. Blaine Hardy followed by giving up two more runs on three hits while recording two outs, and Jose Valdez pitched an inning, also allowing two runs on three hits. At least Valdez recorded a pair of strikeouts in  between.

Endrys Briceno, once listed among the Tigers' top five or ten prospects, has battled back from injuries and retired the two Yankees he faced.

Left-handed relief pitcher Joe Mantiply allowed a pair of runs in the bottom of the ninth inning to give the Yankees the win. The Tigers sent a total of 19 different players up to bat, and used eight pitchers in the contest.

The game not on TV (Pirates)

Backup catcher candidate Jarrod Saltalamacchia kept pace with Holaday, collecting a pair of hits including a home run, and threw out Andrew McCutchen trying to steal in the Tigers' win over Pittsburgh. Buck Farmer got the win in his spring debut.

More games not on TV

The Tigers head to Orlando to face the Atlanta Braves on Thursday.