The Tigers officially kicked off Spring Training on Friday afternoon against the Atlanta Braves. Rick Porcello would have the duties of toeing the mound for the Tigers in the first exhibition game of the year with longtime veteran Tim Hudson opposing him for the Braves.
Porcello — who is fighting for the fifth spot in the Tigers’ rotation — looked good over his two innings of work. The 24-year-old right hander struck out two batters and did not allow a hit.
Victor Martinez was also a point of interest in the Tigers’ first Spring Training game. Martinez missed all of last season due to injury and it was his first time in the line up since 2011. Martinez was 0-2 and was hit by at pitch in his first at-bat of the year, but looked very good at the plate.
The first Spring Training game flew by on Friday. Neither the Tigers nor the Braves had a hit until Freddie Freeman collected the game’s first hit in the fifth inning off of Luis Marte.
The Tigers were getting no-hit until the top of the eighth inning until Tyler Collins — who also made an outstanding diving catch earlier in the game — led off the eighth inning with a triple. Jeff Kobernus followed up Collins’ triple with a triple of his own to give the Tigers the first run of the game. Later in the eighth, Herman Perez hit a sacrifice fly to drive in the speedy Kobernus in to give the Tigers a 2-0 lead.
The Braves however made the game interesting in the bottom of the ninth.
Jose Alvarez gave up a home run to Joey Tedroslavich to start off the ninth inning and nearly gave up back-to-back home runs, but the Flying Tigers’ player of the year Tyler Collins made catch at the wall. Alvarez would eventually settle down to pick up the save as the Tigers would start the Grapefruit League schedule with a win.
Detroit will play the Braves again tomorrow to kick off their Spring Training home opener at Joker Marchant Stadium. First pitch is scheduled for 1PM ET.