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Pittsburgh at Detroit

Scoreboard
Pittsburgh (2-6)000000010151
Detroit (4-5) «20200000x432

Tigers 4, Pirates 1

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LAKELAND, Fla. (AP) - Miguel Cabrera has three home runs in 21 at-bats and if all goes well, he won't be back at spring training for almost three weeks.

The reigning AL MVP and Triple Crown winner is headed to the World Baseball Classic and hopes to help Team Venezuela advance all the way to the finals March 19 in San Francisco.

Cabrera is one of several major league stars who will play for Venezuela, a tournament favorite. His teammates include Pablo Sandoval, Carlos Gonzalez, Elvis Andrus, Asdrubal Cabrera and Martin Prado.

"Let's go and see what happens," Cabrera said after hitting a two-run homer for a Detroit Tigers split squad Saturday in a 4-1 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates. "On paper you might look good, but you go out there and you don't know what's going to happen in baseball. It's crazy."

For the national fervor it inspires, Cabrera compared playing in the WBC to playing in the World Series.

"When you hear the national anthem and you see all the people in the stands singing the national anthem, it makes you feel very emotional. It's different," he said. "But in the World Series, you've played 162 games. Right now it's kind of different because we're just starting the year and you don't know how you're feeling.

"Maybe you feel pretty good one day but you don't feel good the next day. It's kind of weird. You've got to set your mind to go out there and say, `Let's do it, let's go play hard."'

Cabrera has played in seven games this spring, but rarely beyond the fifth inning.

"When we go out and play a full game (Thursday in Puerto Rico), it's going to be the first time we've played nine innings," he said. "We'll see how we feel when we play nine innings and get four at-bats. But I feel good. My legs feel good."

It usually doesn't take the 29-year-old Cabrera long to get cranked up. Tigers manager Jim Leyland often says Cabrera is a natural was "born to play baseball."

His opposite-field home run Saturday off Jeanmar Gomez was the only long ball hit on a chilly day with the wind blowing out.

"It was the wind," Cabrera said, grinning. "I just hit it and ran."

Pittsburgh manager Clint Hurdle wasn't convinced.

"How much was jet stream and how much was him?" Hurdle said. "The guy is a tremendous hitter, well warranted by the season he put up last year. ... He's not just a talented guy; he has a plan when he goes up there."

Sandoval, the World Series MVP for San Francisco last year, is also a third baseman, so Cabrera isn't sure which position he'll play for Venezuela. He said he doesn't care if he is moved to first base, where he has played before. He just wants to get started.

"I'm excited to see how we're going to do," Cabrera said.

Drew Smyly, competing for the fifth spot in Detroit's rotation, pitched three perfect innings in his second spring start.

Gomez also went three innings. He gave up three hits, three walks and four runs, two on Cabrera's homer in the third.

Austin Jackson had one of Detroit's three hits and scored twice.

NOTES: Recently retired Super Bowl champion Ray Lewis, who grew up in Lakeland, threw out the ceremonial first pitch. ... Pirates catcher Russell Martin went 0 for 3 as the designated hitter after missing three days with upper-body soreness. Martin will catch Sunday in Bradenton. ... Max Scherzer will get his first spring start for the Tigers against Atlanta on Sunday. ... The Tigers agreed to terms with seven players and now have all the players on their 40-man roster under contract.

 
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

M. Cabrera
AB 3
R 1
H 1
HR 1
RBI 3
Pittsburgh

A. Hernandez
AB 2
R 1
H 1
HR 0
RBI 0
 

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Pittsburgh Pirates
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Starling Marte, LF3020000 .417
    Darren Ford, LF1000012 .308
Alex Presley, CF2000000 .333
    Felix Pie, CF1000002 .385
Russell Martin, DH3000100 .000
Matt Hague, 3B2000010 .154
    Gaby Sanchez, 3B1010100 .556
Travis Snider, RF2000010 .333
    Jerry Sands, RF2000002 .154
Josh Harrison, 2B2000000 .000
    Anderson Hernandez, 2B2110001 .500
Clint Robinson, 1B2000000 .300
    Jared Goedert, 1B1010000 .400
Michael McKenry, C2000010 .333
    Carlos Paulino, C1000000 .000
Jordy Mercer, SS2000000 .500
    Ivan De Jesus Jr., SS1000012 .333
Totals3015025  
Batting
SH - Alex Presley (1)
Team LOB - 5
Fielding
DP - Harrison-Mercer-C. Robinson
E - Josh Harrison (3, Misplayed grounder)
Pittsburgh Pirates
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Jeanmar Gomez (L,0-1) 3344311 16.62
Mike Zagurski 1000020 0.00
Mark Melancon 1000000 3.00
Jared Hughes 1000000 0.00
Vin Mazzaro 1000000 9.00
Ryan Reid 1000010 0.00
Pitches-Strikes - Jeanmar Gomez 26-14, Mike Zagurski 7-7, Mark Melancon 3-3, Jared Hughes 3-3, Vin Mazzaro 3-3, Ryan Reid 5-5
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jeanmar Gomez 6-2, Mike Zagurski 1-0, Mark Melancon 2-1, Jared Hughes 2-1, Ryan Reid 2-0
Batters Faced - Jeanmar Gomez 15, Mike Zagurski 3, Mark Melancon 3, Jared Hughes 3, Vin Mazzaro 3, Ryan Reid 3
Detroit Tigers
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Austin Jackson, CF2210100 .267
    Daniel Fields, CF1000000 .000
Jeff Kobernus, 2B3111011 .318
    Marcus Lemon, 2B1000010 .000
Miguel Cabrera, 3B3113000 .286
    Wade Gaynor, 3B1000000 .000
Prince Fielder, 1B2000000 .333
    Matt Tuiasosopo, 1B1000000 .000
Alex Avila, C1000200 .125
    Curt Casali, C0000000 .167
Jhonny Peralta, SS3000002 .214
    Dixon Machado, SS0000000 .600
Tyler Collins, LF3000000 .333
    Jeff McVaney, LF0000000 .000
Avisail Garcia, RF3000011 .211
Bryan Holaday, DH3000010 .000
Totals2743434  
Batting
3B - Jeff Kobernus (2, Gomez)
HR - Miguel Cabrera (3, Gomez)
RBI - Jeff Kobernus (2), Miguel Cabrera 3 (8)
Team LOB - 2
Fielding
DP - Kobernus-Fielder, Machado-Tuiasosopo
E - Avisail Garcia (1, Misplayed grounder), Dixon Machado (1, Misplayed grounder)
Detroit Tigers
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Drew Smyly (W,1-0) 3000020 0.00
Octavio Dotel (H,1) 1100000 0.00
Joaquin Benoit (H,2) 1000000 3.00
Phil Coke (H,2) 1000010 0.00
Melvin Mercedes (H,1) 1100200 13.50
Jose Alvarez (H,2) 1210020 2.70
Luis Marte (S,1) 1100000 0.00
Pitches-Strikes - Drew Smyly 13-13, Octavio Dotel 3-3, Joaquin Benoit 3-3, Phil Coke 5-5, Melvin Mercedes 11-3, Jose Alvarez 10-10, Luis Marte 4-4
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Drew Smyly 2-5, Octavio Dotel 1-1, Joaquin Benoit 1-2, Phil Coke 2-0, Melvin Mercedes 2-0, Jose Alvarez 1-1
Batters Faced - Drew Smyly 9, Octavio Dotel 3, Joaquin Benoit 3, Phil Coke 3, Melvin Mercedes 5, Jose Alvarez 6, Luis Marte 4
Game Information
Attendance - 6032
Game Time - 2:44
Temperature - 57
Umpires - Home - Andy Fletcher, First Base - Jerry Layne, Second Base - Jeff Gosney, Third Base - Manny Gonzalez