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Washington at Detroit

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    Washington30100100005--
    Detroit00000112015--

    Nationals 5, Tigers 5(10)

    •  

    LAKELAND, Fla. (AP) - Jim Leyland got his easiest decision of spring training out of the way: He named AL MVP and Cy Young Award winner Justin Verlander Detroit's opening-day starter.

    "I just assumed everybody figured that," Leyland said after Verlander pitched four shutout innings Saturday in the Tigers' 5-5, 10-inning tie with a Washington Nationals split squad.

    "If you want me to make (the announcement) formal, I'll make it formal," Leyland said. "That was pretty much a no-brainer."

    The Tigers open the regular season at home April 5 against the Boston Red Sox.

    Coming off a season in which he went 24-5 and led the AL in ERA (2.40) and strikeouts (250), Verlander appeared to be in midseason form Saturday, although he didn't think so.

    He called his first inning and bullpen session "horrible" and said he was "way out of rhythm."

    Those comments came after striking out four of the 13 batters he faced and scattering three singles. Two of the baserunners were caught stealing by catcher Alex Avila.

    The Nationals never got anyone to second base against Verlander, who left the game with a 4-0 lead.

    "He's probably a little hard on himself at times," Leyland said.

    Verlander was able to work past the early trouble, though.

    "It's a good sign in the second start of the spring that I was able to figure it out pretty quickly," he said. "To be that far off and be able to bring it back and start to get a rhythmic feel in the second inning, that is a very good positive for me."

    Asked for his definition of horrible, Verlander said he couldn't throw strikes in the bullpen.

    Brandon Inge homered off Washington starter John Lannan, and Brennan Boesch's homer in the fourth inning gave the Tigers a 4-0 lead.

    Lannan gave up two runs on four hits. A bloop single by Delmon Young helped make it a lengthy first inning, and Lannan left after only two innings.

    "They've got a pretty good lineup and I thought he handled it pretty good," said bench coach Randy Knorr, acting as manager of the Nationals split squad. "The ball that fell made him throw more pitches."

    But after two Tiger errors led to a three-run inning for the Nationals, Corey Brown homered off Tigers closer Jose Valverde and Andres Blanco connected against setup man Joaquin Benoit to lift the Nationals into a 5-4 lead.

    Rookies Avisail Garcia and Argenis Diaz had consecutive doubles to tie it for the Tigers in the eighth inning.

    NOTES: The opening day start will be Verlander's fifth straight. ... Garcia ended the Nationals' big sixth inning with a perfect throw to third base to complete a double play after a running catch. ... A throw from center fielder Matt Young cut down another Washington run at the plate in the ninth. ... Tiger starters have not given up a home run this spring.

     
    Copyright 2015 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
     
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    Washington Nationals
    HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
    Roger Bernadina, LF2010001 .308
        Destin Hood, LF2100113 .000
    Stephen Lombardozzi, 2B3000000 .214
        Jeff Kobernus, PR-2B2110002 .500
    Danny Espinosa, SS3020000 .286
        Andres Blanco, PR-SS2111000 .125
    Chad Tracy, 1B3011021 .200
        Justin Bloxom, PR-1B2010000 .500
    Jesus Flores, DH5000023 .231
    Mark Teahen, 3B2000010 .071
       a- Carlos Rivero, PH-3B2000001 .000
    Corey Brown, RF4111010 .385
    Jhonatan Solano, C2000000 .000
        Carlos Maldonado, C0000200 .333
    Eury Perez, CF3120111 .500
    Totals37510348  
    a-grounded out for Teahen in the 7th
    Batting
    HR - Andres Blanco (1, Benoit), Corey Brown (1, Valverde)
    RBI - Andres Blanco (1), Chad Tracy (4), Corey Brown (1)
    CS - Roger Bernadina (2, 2nd base by Verlander/Avila), Danny Espinosa (1, 2nd base by Verlander/Avila)
    Team LOB - 6
    Washington Nationals
    PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
    John Lannan 2422141 5.40
    Austin Bibens-Dirkx 2111021 3.86
    Yunesky Maya 2111200 4.50
    Tyler Clippard 1000010 3.00
    Rafael Martin (BS,1) 2211100 3.00
    Ryan Perry 1000010 0.00
    Pitches-Strikes - John Lannan 23-19, Austin Bibens-Dirkx 13-11, Yunesky Maya 15-7, Tyler Clippard 5-5, Rafael Martin 12-8, Ryan Perry 5-5
    Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Austin Bibens-Dirkx 3-1, Yunesky Maya 2-4, Tyler Clippard 2-0, Rafael Martin 3-3, Ryan Perry 1-1
    Batters Faced - John Lannan 11, Austin Bibens-Dirkx 7, Yunesky Maya 9, Tyler Clippard 3, Rafael Martin 9, Ryan Perry 3
    Detroit Tigers
    HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
    Austin Jackson, CF2000121 .286
        Matt Young, PR-CF1100110 .000
        Quintin Berry, PR-CF0000000 .500
    Brandon Inge, 2B2111101 .286
        Ramon Santiago, 2B2000001 .308
    Miguel Cabrera, 3B2100111 .250
        Audy Ciriaco, 3B2000001 .500
    Prince Fielder, 1B4000013 .235
        Ryan Strieby, 1B1000000 .400
    Delmon Young, DH3021000 .500
       a- Bryan Holaday, PH-DH2000010 .000
    Brennan Boesch, RF3122002 .263
        Avisail Garcia, RF2110000 .286
    Jhonny Peralta, SS2000022 .308
        Argenis Diaz, SS2011000 .143
    Alex Avila, C2010000 .200
        Rob Brantly, C2000001 .286
    Justin Henry, LF4000001 .000
    Totals3858548  
    a-flied out for Young in the 8th
    Batting
    2B - Delmon Young (2, Maya), Avisail Garcia (1, R. Martin), Argenis Diaz (1, R. Martin)
    HR - Brandon Inge (1, Lannan), Brennan Boesch (2, Bibens-Dirkx)
    RBI - Brandon Inge (1), Delmon Young (6), Brennan Boesch 2 (5), Argenis Diaz (2)
    2-OUT RBI - Delmon Young (1), Brennan Boesch (2), Argenis Diaz (1)
    Team LOB - 7
    Fielding
    Outfield Assists - Avisail Garcia 1, Matt Young 1
    DP - Garcia-Ciriaco
    E - Casey Crosby (1, Throwing), Prince Fielder (1, Throwing)
    Detroit Tigers
    PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
    Justin Verlander 4300040 0.00
    Casey Crosby (H,2) 1.1232210 5.40
    Matt Hoffman (H,1) 0.2000000 0.00
    Jose Valverde (BS,1) 1111121 3.00
    Joaquin Benoit 1211001 3.00
    Octavio Dotel 1200100 3.00
    Luke Putkonen 1000010 0.00
    WP - Casey Crosby (1), Jose Valverde (1)
    Pitches-Strikes - Justin Verlander 22-21, Casey Crosby 19-9, Matt Hoffman 1-1, Jose Valverde 18-10, Joaquin Benoit 10-7, Octavio Dotel 8-4, Luke Putkonen 5-5
    Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Justin Verlander 5-1, Casey Crosby 3-1, Jose Valverde 1-0, Joaquin Benoit 1-2, Octavio Dotel 1-1, Luke Putkonen 2-0
    Batters Faced - Justin Verlander 13, Casey Crosby 9, Matt Hoffman 1, Jose Valverde 5, Joaquin Benoit 5, Octavio Dotel 5, Luke Putkonen 3
    Game Information
    Attendance - 6622
    Game Time - 3:21
    Temperature - 76
    Umpires - Home - Mark Wegner, First Base - Andy Fletcher, Second Base - Sam Holbrook, Third Base - Chris Ward