Detroit at Atlanta

W: D. Smyly (2-0) L: J. Teheran (0-1)
HR: DET - None   ATL - J. Francisco (2)

Tigers 9, Braves 2


KISSIMMEE, Fla. (AP) - This time last spring, Detroit Tigers pitcher Drew Smyly was wearing No. 80 and preparing to spend his summer at Triple-A Toledo.

After getting some unexpected experience in the majors, he looks ready to stick around.

Smyly extended his scoreless streak to nine innings, strengthening his bid for a spot in Detroit's rotation as the Tigers beat the Atlanta Braves 9-2 on Thursday night.

The 23-year-old lefty yielded two hits and fanned four in four innings, striking out the side in the second. He is competing with Rick Porcello for the final spot in the rotation and said he's not taking anything for granted.

"I don't think I am any more different on the field than I was last year, except I am a lot more confident," Smyly said. "I know I don't have a spot as a starter on this team but, hey, I wore No. 80 this time last year. It's no different, but I'm not wearing No. 80 anymore."

Tigers manager Jim Leyland was adamant that no decision had been made on the fifth starter and that none would be made anytime soon.

"He has been throwing good," Leyland said of Smyly. "A lot of it is experience. He got his feet wet last year and he pitched in some big games. I'm not going to say if it all comes down to the last week."

Smyly broke camp with the Tigers last season, making the team as the No. 5 starter. Despite two stints on the disabled list and a brief trip to Toledo in June, he made 18 starts for Detroit and finished 4-3 with a 3.99 ERA in 23 outings overall. He also pitched in four postseason games, helping the AL champions reach the World Series.

Danny Worth doubled twice and went 3 for 3 with two RBIs for the Tigers, raising his batting average to .389. Brennan Boesch got his first hit of the spring after sitting out two weeks with oblique issues.

Braves starter Julio Teheran allowed one run in four solid innings, lowering his ERA to 2.00 in his longest outing of the spring. One of baseball's top pitching prospects, Teheran made one start for Atlanta last season and is a serious contender for this year's rotation.

He has been working on a two-seamer and a changeup and said they were working for him Thursday.

"Everything worked well and I am gaining confidence every time out," Teheran said. "I am consistently making pitches, but the important thing is I don't just want to make the team, I want to be on the team the whole year."

Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez liked what he saw from Teheran.

"He is going to be a force to be reckoned with," Gonzalez said.

Juan Francisco homered for the Braves off Brayan Villarreal.

The Tigers scored five times in the seventh, capped by a two-run double from Nick Castellanos.

NOTES: Leyland said he is about ready to make some roster moves to get certain players more at-bats. ... Tigers starters have not allowed a run in 23 innings over the past seven games. ... Gonzalez has been impressed by Francisco, projected to platoon with Chris Johnson at third base following Chipper Jones' retirement. "He's really swinging it well so far," Gonzalez said.

Copyright 2017 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

D. Worth
AB 3
R 0
H 3
HR 0

B. Holaday
AB 2
R 0
H 2
HR 0

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Detroit Tigers
Austin Jackson, CF3010010 .222
    Tyler Collins, RF2221000 .409
Brennan Boesch, LF3110002 .250
    Nick Castellanos, LF1112100 .412
Victor Martinez, DH2000011 .300
   a- Ramon Cabrera, PH-DH3111024 .100
Prince Fielder, 1B2011000 .318
    Danny Worth, 1B3032000 .389
Andy Dirks, RF2000001 .294
   b- Avisail Garcia, PH-CF3110001 .250
Alex Avila, C2010100 .167
   c- Bryan Holaday, PH-C2022000 .273
Jhonny Peralta, SS3000034 .154
    Eugenio Suarez, SS2000012 .000
Don Kelly, 3B2000020 .235
    Argenis Diaz, 3B3220001 .375
Jeff Kobernus, 2B4120000 .290
    Hernan Perez, 2B1000001 .444
a-struck out for Martinez in the 5th
b-grounded out for Dirks in the 6th
c-singled for Avila in the 7th
2B - Nick Castellanos (1, Varvaro), Danny Worth 2 (4, Avilan, Northcraft), Bryan Holaday (2, Northcraft)
RBI - Tyler Collins (3), Nick Castellanos 2 (5), Ramon Cabrera (1), Prince Fielder (6), Danny Worth 2 (4), Bryan Holaday 2 (4)
2-OUT RBI - Danny Worth (1)
Team LOB - 9
DP - Diaz-Kobernus-Worth
Detroit Tigers
Drew Smyly (W,2-0) 4200140 0.00
Kyle Lobstein (H,1) 2200220 7.04
Brayan Villarreal (H,1) 1211111 3.60
Joaquin Benoit (H,4) 1311020 3.60
Duane Below 1000010 12.00
WP - Brayan Villarreal (1)
Pitches-Strikes - Drew Smyly 26-21, Kyle Lobstein 20-12, Brayan Villarreal 13-8, Joaquin Benoit 10-10, Duane Below 5-5
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Drew Smyly 4-3, Kyle Lobstein 1-3, Brayan Villarreal 1-1, Joaquin Benoit 1-0, Duane Below 1-1
Batters Faced - Drew Smyly 14, Kyle Lobstein 10, Brayan Villarreal 6, Joaquin Benoit 6, Duane Below 3
Atlanta Braves
Reed Johnson, DH3000013 .167
   a- Evan Gattis, PH-DH2000010 .381
Jason Heyward, RF3000000 .192
    Jordan Schafer, CF2010010 .333
Justin Upton, LF2010110 .308
    Jordan Parraz, RF2000002 .235
Freddie Freeman, 1B3000012 .345
    Blake DeWitt, 2B1110000 .235
B.J. Upton, CF3010011 .321
    Todd Cunningham, LF1000011 .286
Dan Uggla, 2B3010012 .154
    Joe Leonard, 1B-3B1011000 .273
Juan Francisco, 3B2111111 .370
    Ernesto Mejia, 1B1010000 .222
Tyler Pastornicky, SS2000101 .375
    Elmer Reyes, SS1000001 .000
Gerald Laird, C0000100 .111
    Luis De La Cruz, C3010013 .250
a-struck out (wild pitch) for Johnson in the 7th
2B - Blake DeWitt (3, Benoit)
HR - Juan Francisco (2, Villarreal)
RBI - Joe Leonard (2), Juan Francisco (5)
Team LOB - 10
Outfield Assists - Todd Cunningham 1, Jordan Parraz 1
DP - DeWitt-Pastornicky-Leonard
E - Joe Leonard (1, Misplayed grounder)
Atlanta Braves
Julio Teheran (L,0-1) 4311150 2.00
Jonny Venters 1200020 4.50
Luis Avilan 1100010 0.00
Anthony Varvaro 1755000 9.00
Aaron Northcraft 2533120 12.27
WP - Luis Avilan (1)
Pitches-Strikes - Julio Teheran 29-25, Jonny Venters 9-9, Luis Avilan 7-6, Anthony Varvaro 9-9, Aaron Northcraft 18-14
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Julio Teheran 5-2, Luis Avilan 2-0, Anthony Varvaro 2-0, Aaron Northcraft 2-1
Batters Faced - Julio Teheran 16, Jonny Venters 5, Luis Avilan 4, Anthony Varvaro 9, Aaron Northcraft 11
Game Information
Attendance - 8395
Game Time - 3:13
Temperature - 66
Umpires - Home - Jeff Nelson, First Base - Andy Fletcher, Second Base - Manny Gonzalez, Third Base - Larry Vanover