Game 15: Tigers jump all over Harrell, Astros
The fact: The Tigers pounded out 18 hits, jumping on Astros starter Lucas Harrell for 10 runs in the first two innings, to beat Houston, 14-3, on Saturday in Lakeland, Fla. (boxscore).
What we learned: RHP Lucas Harrell still has some work to do. Harrell found himself in trouble from the get-go and wound up allowing 12 hits and 10 runs (nine earned) in 1 2/3 innings. The Tigers definitely hit some balls hard — Ian Kinsler hit the first of his two homers off Harrell — but he did give up some weak contact for hits and didn’t have a few plays made behind him.
“Sometimes things go your way when you’re getting ground balls, and sometimes it doesn’t,” Harrell said. “Just one of those things today even though I was making pitches, sometimes you have tip your cap. They made better hits.”
Player of the game: LF Robbie Grossman. He went 2-for-3 and socked his first homer of the spring in the fourth inning, coming against 2013 AL Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer. Grossman is hitting .417 this spring.
What went wrong: Harrell certainly didn’t have his best stuff, putting the Astros in a 10-1 hole after two innings. … Tigers 2B Ian Kinsler homered off Harrell and RHP Chad Qualls, and Tigers CF Tyler Collins had a single, triple and a homer, which came against RHP Josh Zeid. … RHP Peter Moylan walked the first two hitters he faced and wound up giving up a run on a sac fly.
Notable: IF Marwin Gonzalez kept his strong spring going by hitting a double off the wall in his only at-bat. He’s hitting .481. … Jesus Guzman started at third and was charged with an error. He also couldn’t handle a pair of grounders in the first inning that went for hits, but perhaps could have been played into outs.
Quotable: “They put some good swings on the ball, throughout the course of the day, not just in the first couple of innings,” — Astros manager Bo Porter.
Up next: Right-hander Brad Peacock makes his second start of the spring when the Astros return home to face the split-squad Nationals at 12:05 p.m. CT Saturday in Kissimmee, Fla. Peacock, who was roughed up for five earned runs and four hits in one inning of work in his only spring start March 1 against the Tigers in Lakeland, needs a strong outing to bolster his candidacy to break camp with a spot in the starting rotation. He’s pitched in a pair of Minor League games since his last Grapefruit League start.
Injuries: RHP Mark Appel (recovering from appendectomy), RHP Asher Wojciechowski (lat strain), RHP Jesse Crain (biceps tendon surgery recovery).
Links of the day:
Tweets of the day:
Pictures of the day: