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Detroit at Atlanta

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    Final
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    0001001--2
    0000010--1

    Tigers 2, Braves 1(7)

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    KISSIMMEE, Fla. (AP) - Justin Verlander is ready to do it all over again - with one big difference. He wants that elusive World Series title.

    The ace right-hander tuned up for opening day with a crisp outing in his final spring start and the Detroit Tigers beat the Atlanta Braves 2-1 on Saturday in a game called after six innings due to rain.

    Verlander went 24-5 with a 2.40 ERA last season. He won the AL Cy Young Award and was voted MVP, making for a whirlwind winter. But he's ready to move on.

    "I appreciated it a lot," he said. "It is something I can look back on, but I won't change my work ethic or anything because of it. It doesn't change my desire to be the best."

    Verlander allowed four hits in six innings against Atlanta, finishing the spring with a 2.02 ERA. He struck out five and walked none.

    "I didn't have anything to work on today," said Verlander, who will face the Boston Red Sox on Thursday. "There's nothing more I can do. I'm just trying to pitch and treat it like it's the regular season."

    Verlander's first pitch against the Braves registered 96 mph on the radar gun. That might be nice in July, but it showed he was a little amped up for a meaningless exhibition game.

    "That was an accident," he laughed. "It came out a little hot."

    Still, Verlander said he isn't satisfied. He said his curveball has been good but not great, and he did some more throwing in the bullpen after the game was called following a seven-minute rain delay.

    "Curveball wasn't great," he said. "Everything else was all right. Fastball control got a little bit better. Changeup was pretty good. Slider got a little better."

    Tommy Hanson also pitched six innings for the Braves, yielding five hits. He's also slated to start on opening day on Thursday against the New York Mets.

    Atlanta closer Craig Kimbrel came in for the seventh but that's when the game was called after a seven-minute delay.

    Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez had already seen enough by the time the game was called.

    "Tommy Hanson was great," Gonzalez said. "He got his work in and he threw strikes. He's lined up to start the opener and he's looking great."

    Miguel Cabrera went 1 for 3 with an RBI and moved his spring average to .444, and Clete Thomas homered for the Tigers. Dan Uggla went 1 for 2 with an RBI for the Braves.

    NOTES: Tigers manager Jim Leyland said he might not bring five starters north for opening day. Detroit doesn't a fifth starter for the first homestand and that would allow the potential fifth starter to open at Triple-A Toledo. It also might need an extra position player early on because C Gerald Laird (knee) and 2B Brandon Inge (groin) are day to day. ... Tigers RHP Doug Fister is scheduled to make his final spring start on Sunday against Houston in Lakeland. Leyland said he might have to mix up the other pitchers who were scheduled due to Saturday's rain-shortened game. ... Gonzalez said he saw some positive swings from 2B Josh Wilson and OF Eric Hinske off Verlander. ... Gonzalez already announced that Hanson will start the season opener, but added that RHP Jair Jurrjens will start the home opener on April 13 against the Milwaukee Brewers.

     
    Copyright 2016 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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    Detroit Tigers
    HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
    Austin Jackson, CF3110000 .262
    Brennan Boesch, DH3000001 .262
    Miguel Cabrera, 3B3011000 .444
    Prince Fielder, 1B3010000 .275
    Andy Dirks, LF2000002 .404
    Alex Avila, C2000012 .229
    Ryan Raburn, 2B2000000 .283
    Jhonny Peralta, SS2010000 .283
    Clete Thomas, RF2111001 .218
    Justin Verlander, P0000000 .000
    Totals2225201  
    Batting
    HR - Clete Thomas (3, Hanson)
    RBI - Miguel Cabrera (7), Clete Thomas (8)
    2-OUT RBI - Clete Thomas (2)
    SB - Austin Jackson (4, 2nd base off Hanson/Ross)
    Team LOB - 2
    Fielding
    Outfield Assists - Austin Jackson 1
    Detroit Tigers
    PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
    Justin Verlander (W,2-0) 6411050 2.03
    Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Justin Verlander 7-4
    Batters Faced - Justin Verlander 20
    Atlanta Braves
    HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
    Michael Bourn, CF3010000 .288
        Jordan Parraz, RF0000000 .333
    Jack Wilson, 3B2000010 .154
        Drew Sutton, 3B1000001 .234
    Freddie Freeman, 1B2110000 .282
    Dan Uggla, 2B2011010 .305
        Josh Wilson, 2B0000000 .125
    Jason Heyward, RF2000000 .216
    Eric Hinske, LF2000010 .214
        Luis Durango, LF0000000 .481
    David Ross, C2010000 .154
    Tyler Pastornicky, SS2000001 .215
    Tommy Hanson, P1000010 .000
       a- Matt Diaz, PH1000010 .180
        Craig Kimbrel, P0000000 .000
    Totals2014105  
    a-struck out for Hanson in the 6th
    Batting
    2B - Dan Uggla (5, Verlander)
    RBI - Dan Uggla (15)
    2-OUT RBI - Dan Uggla (9)
    CS - Tyler Pastornicky (3, 2nd base by Verlander/Avila)
    Team LOB - 1
    Fielding
    DP - Hanson-Pastornicky-Freeman
    E - David Ross (1, Throwing)
    Atlanta Braves
    PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
    Tommy Hanson (L,1-1) 6522011 2.77
    Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Tommy Hanson 7-9
    Batters Faced - Tommy Hanson 22
    Game Information
    Attendance - 8214
    Game Time - 1:36
    Temperature - 81
    Umpires - Home - Mark Carlson, First Base - Lance Barksdale, Second Base - UMP Nonindividual, Third Base - Victor Carapazza