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Detroit at Atlanta

Scoreboard
Detroit (1-0) «000000020240
Atlanta (0-1)000000001160

Tigers 2, Braves 1

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KISSIMMEE, Fla. (AP) - The first game of spring training can provide some unusual scenarios.

Such as Detroit slugger Miguel Cabrera facing Atlanta closer Craig Kimbrel - in the third inning.

Coming off baseball's first Triple Crown season since 1967, Cabrera grounded out against Kimbrel before finishing his day with a drive to the warning track in center field, not a factor as the Tigers beat the Braves 2-1 Friday in the opening exhibition game of the year between big league teams.

Cabrera, who led the AL with 44 homers, 139 RBIs and a .330 average, got a chance to pose with Mickey and Minnie Mouse before batting practice, a nod to the game being played at the Braves' Disney World complex. Then, to chants of "MVP! MVP!" from the stands, he grounded out in the first against Tim Hudson.

In the third, Kimbrel took over for Hudson and promptly walked the first two hitters. The closer fanned Quinton Berry and got Omar Infante on a flyout before Cabrera stepped in again.

Kimbrel, coming off a season with 42 saves, 1.01 ERA and 116 strikeouts in 62 2-3 innings, doled out a steady stream of fastballs in the mid-90s. One of them went all the way to the backstop, allowing the runners to move up, but Cabrera grounded a 3-2 pitch to shortstop Andrelton Simmons that ended the threat.

"It's a little different than rolling out there in the ninth inning," Kimbrel said. "But I was just getting in my work."

Both Cabrera (Venezuela) and Kimbrel (United States) will soon be leaving camp to play in the World Baseball Classic. They could wind up facing each other with a lot more on the line.

"I might see him here in a few weeks," Kimbrel said. "I'm happy to get through the inning."

Justin and B.J. Upton made their Atlanta spring training debuts. The brothers both went 0 for 2, then scooted out of the clubhouse before the media was allowed in.

The Uptons are part of a new era for the Braves, who must replace retired third baseman Chipper Jones, a stalwart for nearly two decades in the middle of the order. B.J. was signed as a free agent to a $75.25 million, five-year contract, while Justin was acquired in a blockbuster deal with Arizona.

"We do have a lot of new faces," said right fielder Jason Heyward, who started alongside the Uptons in one of baseball's most touted outfield trios. "We just want to get a feel of things, talking and communicating."

The Tigers were hitless through seven innings but went ahead in the eighth, long after the starters had departed. Tyler Collins tripled to right-center off Ryan Buchter, and Jeff Kobernus followed with another triple to nearly the same spot. Hernan Perez's sacrifice fly brought home Kobernus.

Joey Terdoslavich homered for Atlanta in the ninth, and Ramiro Pena nearly tied it with a drive that was hauled in against the wall in left. Jose Alvarez retired Ernesto Mejia on a grounder with the potential tying run on base, earning the save.

The win went to Jose Ortega, who threw a scoreless seventh. Buchter took the loss, surrendering three of Detroit's four hits in his lone inning.

"I'm not too concerned about the first game, but we played well," Tigers manager Jim Leyland said. "We played well defensively, and our pitchers threw strikes for the most part."

In the seventh, Collins stretched out to make a diving catch in left-center, perhaps saving a run. Kobernus also made a slick grab that same inning. In addition, the Tigers threw out two runners attempting to steal second.

"You want to make a good impression," said Kobernus, who played last season in the Double-A Eastern League. "But it's just one game. Yeah, I had a decent game. But it's a new game tomorrow."

Both starters - Hudson and Detroit's Rick Porcello - threw two scoreless innings.

"I didn't blow anything out and I didn't limp off the mound," Hudson quipped. "That's always a good day."

NOTES: The Braves used the lineup that may be the one they go with on opening day, assuming catcher Brian McCann has not recovered from offseason shoulder surgery: Simmons, Heyward, Justin Upton, Freddie Freeman, B.J. Upton, Dan Uggla, Juan Francisco and Gerald Laird. ... Leyland chatted before the game with retired Braves manager Bobby Cox. Presumably, they didn't discuss the 1992 NL championship series, when Cox's Braves defeated Leyland's Pittsburgh Pirates on a two-out, two-run single in the bottom of the ninth of Game 7. ... Former Braves catcher Brayan Pena started for the Tigers. No. 1 catcher Alex Avila was saved for the Tigers' home opener at Lakeland against Toronto on Saturday.

---

Follow Paul Newberry on Twitter at www.twitter.com/pnewberry1963

 
Copyright 2014 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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Players of the Game
Detroit

J. Kobernus
AB 2
R 1
H 1
HR 0
RBI 1
Atlanta

J. Terdoslavich
AB 1
R 1
H 1
HR 1
RBI 1
 

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Detroit Tigers
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Quintin Berry, CF3000022 .000
    Daniel Fields, CF1000011 .000
Omar Infante, 2B3000002 .000
    Hernan Perez, 2B0001000 .000
Miguel Cabrera, 3B3000002 .000
    Kevin Russo, 3B10100001.000
Prince Fielder, 1B1000200 .000
    Don Kelly, 1B1000001 .000
Victor Martinez, DH2000001 .000
   a- Ramon Cabrera, PH-DH1000000 .000
Jhonny Peralta, SS2000002 .000
    Argenis Diaz, SS2000000 .000
Brayan Pena, C2000002 .000
    Bryan Holaday, C1000110 .000
Avisail Garcia, RF1000100 .000
    Tyler Collins, RF21200001.000
Nick Castellanos, LF1000110 .000
    Jeff Kobernus, LF2111002 .500
Totals2924255  
a-flied out for Martinez in the 9th
Batting
2B - Tyler Collins (1, Schlosser)
3B - Tyler Collins (1, Buchter), Jeff Kobernus (1, Buchter)
SF - Hernan Perez (1)
RBI - Hernan Perez (1), Jeff Kobernus (1)
Team LOB - 7
Fielding
DP - B. Pena-Infante
Detroit Tigers
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Rick Porcello 2000020 0.00
Luke Putkonen 2000020 0.00
Luis Marte 1200010 0.00
Darin Downs 1000010 0.00
Jose Ortega (W,1-0) 1200000 0.00
Kenny Faulk (H,1) 1000020 0.00
Jose Alvarez (S,1) 1211001 9.00
Pitches-Strikes - Rick Porcello 10-10, Luke Putkonen 10-10, Luis Marte 6-6, Darin Downs 5-5, Jose Ortega 5-4, Kenny Faulk 7-7, Jose Alvarez 8-7
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Rick Porcello 2-2, Luke Putkonen 3-1, Luis Marte 1-0, Kenny Faulk 1-0, Jose Alvarez 1-2
Batters Faced - Rick Porcello 6, Luke Putkonen 6, Luis Marte 4, Darin Downs 3, Jose Ortega 4, Kenny Faulk 3, Jose Alvarez 5
Atlanta Braves
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Andrelton Simmons, SS2000000 .000
    Ramiro Pena, SS2000000 .000
Jason Heyward, RF2000010 .000
    Jordan Parraz, RF2010000 .500
Justin Upton, LF2000000 .000
    Todd Cunningham, LF2010000 .500
Freddie Freeman, 1B2010010 .500
    Ernesto Mejia, 1B2010001 .500
B.J. Upton, CF2000010 .000
    Jordan Schafer, CF1000001 .000
Dan Uggla, 2B2010010 .500
    Tyler Pastornicky, 2B1000010 .000
Juan Francisco, 3B2000001 .000
    Chris Johnson, 3B1000000 .000
Gerald Laird, C2000010 .000
    Matt Pagnozzi, C1000010 .000
Blake DeWitt, DH2000010 .000
   a- Joe Terdoslavich, PH-DH11110001.000
Totals3116108  
a-homered for DeWitt in the 9th
Batting
HR - Joe Terdoslavich (1, Alvarez)
RBI - Joe Terdoslavich (1)
CS - Jordan Parraz (1, 2nd base by Ortega/Holaday), Freddie Freeman (1, 2nd base by Marte/B. Pena)
Team LOB - 3
Fielding
DP - Simmons-Uggla-Freeman
Atlanta Braves
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Tim Hudson 2000100 0.00
Craig Kimbrel 1000210 0.00
Luis Avilan 1000100 0.00
Cory Gearrin 1000020 0.00
Cristhian Martinez 1000000 0.00
Dusty Hughes 1000010 0.00
Ryan Buchter (L,0-1) 1322010 18.00
Gus Schlosser 1100100 0.00
HBP - Martinez (by Tim Hudson)
WP - Craig Kimbrel (1)
Pitches-Strikes - Tim Hudson 10-5, Craig Kimbrel 14-5, Luis Avilan 7-3, Cory Gearrin 7-7, Cristhian Martinez 3-3, Dusty Hughes 5-5, Ryan Buchter 8-8, Gus Schlosser 8-4
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Tim Hudson 3-2, Craig Kimbrel 1-1, Luis Avilan 1-2, Cory Gearrin 1-0, Ryan Buchter 1-1, Gus Schlosser 2-1
Batters Faced - Tim Hudson 7, Craig Kimbrel 5, Luis Avilan 4, Cory Gearrin 3, Cristhian Martinez 3, Dusty Hughes 3, Ryan Buchter 6, Gus Schlosser 5
Game Information
Attendance - 7093
Game Time - 2:26
Temperature - 82
Umpires - Home - Lance Barksdale, First Base - Greg Gibson, Second Base - UMP Nonindividual, Third Base - Jeff Gosney