The Detroit Tigers apparently took their American League Division Series loss to the Orioles personally, because they struck back with a vengeance in the first two games of the Grapefruit League exhibition season.
The Tigers followed up Tuesday's 15-2 victory over the Orioles in Lakeland, Fla., with a 5-4 win before a sellout crowd of 8,367 at Ed Smith Stadium on Wednesday, this one against a lineup that included most of the Orioles' projected starters at the outset.
Clearly, the Orioles have not put on their hitting shoes yet, but it wasn't all bad. Kevin Gausman, T.J. McFarland and Dylan Bundy held the Tigers scoreless through four innings before the Tigers scored four runs off prospect Chaz Roe, two of them on a wind-blown home run to center field by third baseman Nick Castellanos.
The Orioles did not get on the scoreboard until the eighth, when Jason Nix opened the inning with a single and went all the way around to third on an errant pickoff throw. Cuban outfield prospect Dariel Alvarez followed with an RBI single and Steve Pearce added a third straight no-out single before Nolan Reimold made it a game with a two-out, two-run single to left center field off Tigers reliever Jose Valdez.
Nix hit a solo home run in the ninth to make it 5-4 and Alvarez reached first base on an error with two outs, but was stranded.
Wei-Yin Chen and Miguel Gonzalez will both get exhibition starts on Thursday in a pair of split-squad games. Chen will face the Tampa Bay Rays in Port Charlotte, Fla., and Gonzalez will start a Thursday night game in Sarasota against the Toronto Blue Jays.