Atlanta at Detroit

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Atlanta (0-2)101000000241
Detroit (2-0) «10002002x5130

Nathan and Chamberlain debut for Tigers vs Braves

By JEFF BERLINICKE
Associated Press
  •  

LAKELAND, Fla. (AP) Detroit newcomers Joe Nathan and Joba Chamberlain each pitched a scoreless inning to help the Tigers beat the Atlanta Braves 5-2 on Thursday.

Nathan and Chamberlain were brought in to solidify a Tigers bullpen that struggled last season. Chamberlain, who foundered with the Yankees in 2013, had a strikeout. Nathan, who saved 43 games for Texas last year, struck out two. It was the Detroit debut for both.

''I liked what I saw from all of our pitchers today,'' rookie manager Brad Ausmus said. ''They threw strikes.''

Rick Porcello started for the Tigers and allowed one run in two innings. He struck out three.

Kris Medlen gave up one run in two innings in his spring debut for the Braves. Jason Heyward hit a long homer off Duane Below in his second at-bat.

Heyward's shot cleared the palm trees beyond the right-field fence.

''I heard something hit the roof way out in right field and I figured out who hit it,'' Medlen said.

STARTING TIME

Braves: Medlen, who won a team-high 15 games last season, allowed two hits and struck out one. He said he is just working on mechanics for now.

''I didn't hurt anything, so that's good,'' Medlen said. ''I mixed my pitches and, when I missed, it was down, so that's exciting.''

Tigers: Porcello gave up one hit and struck out three while walking one. He was 13-8 with a 4.32 ERA last season in 29 starts.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Braves: Gerald Laird came out after the first inning with a lower back strain. The catcher said he got hurt while grounding out. He caught the first inning but said his back was bothering him so much he allowed a passed ball. Laird said he was day to day.

Atlanta left fielder Justin Upton missed his second straight game with tenderness in his right side. He is also day to day.

Tigers: Alex Avila caught four innings and went 2 for 2 in his first game after sitting out several days with back spasms.

LONG BALL

Heyward's home run soared over the right-field fence, a grove of palm trees and finally landed on a building that houses the Tigers' batting cages.

''I had the perfect swing and I just raked it,'' said Heyward, who hit 14 homers last season. ''Doing it off a left-handed pitcher made it even better. My swing is taking care of itself.''

OUT OF ORDER

Tigers center fielder Austin Jackson batted sixth, an unusual slot for him, but Ausmus said Jackson could bat in any number of places this season and didn't plan to set anything in stone yet.

''We plan to try a few different things with him,'' the manager said. ''Things will get mixed up. If he bats leadoff, it isn't like he's never done that before.''

Jose Iglesias led off for the Tigers.

MORE FROM THE BULLPEN

Bruce Rondon entered spring training last year with a shot to become the Tigers' closer, but was one of the final cuts before the team went north. With Nathan entrenched as the closer now, Rondon will be a setup man if he makes the club. Rondon went 1-2 with a 3.45 ERA in 30 games after he was called up last season and struck out 30 batters in 28 2-3 innings. He regularly hits 100 mph with his fastball.

In one inning against the Braves, he retired all three batters he faced.

''I don't care how hard he throws,'' Ausmus said. ''If he gets them 1-2-3, I will take it.''

 
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC is strictly prohibited.
 
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Players of the Game
Atlanta

J. Heyward
AB 3
R 1
H 1
HR 1
RBI 1
Detroit

J. Lennerton
AB 2
R 1
H 2
HR 0
RBI 1
 

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Atlanta Braves
Jason Heyward , RF3111000.200.200.800
  Joey Terdoslavich , LF-DH1000010.000.000.000
Ramiro Pena , 3B3000010.250.250.500
Justin Upton , LF0000000.000.000.000
B.J. Upton , CF2100110.000.200.000
Ryan Doumit , C3021000.400.400.800
Gerald Laird , C1000001.000.000.000
Mark Hamilton , 1B3000031.000.000.000
Edward Salcedo , SS3010011.200.200.400
  Tyler Greene , PR0000000.000.000.000
Jordan Schafer , CF3000021.000.000.000
Phil Gosselin , 2B3000010.000.000.000
Jose Yepez , C2000001.000.000.000
Jose Constanza , LF1000000.250.250.250
Todd Cunningham , RF1000000.000.000.000
Elmer Reyes , SS1000000.000.000.000
Ernesto Mejia , 1B1000000.500.5001.000
Totals312421105  
BATTING
2B - E Salcedo (1)
3B - R Doumit (1)
HR - J Heyward (1)
RBI - J Heyward (1); R Doumit (1)
BASERUNNING
SB - R Doumit (1)
Atlanta Braves
Kris Medlen 2.02111104.50
David Carpenter 1.00000100.00
Luis Avilan 1.02001000.00
Wirfin Obispo (L,0-1) 1.032210018.00
Gus Schlosser 1.01000100.00
Mark Lamm 1.01000100.00
Cody Martin 1.042211018.00
Detroit Tigers
Jose Iglesias , SS2110100.500.667.500
  Devon Travis , PR-2B2110001.500.500.500
Andy Dirks , LF3000012.000.000.000
Miguel Cabrera , 1B1001100.000.667.000
  Jordan Lennerton , PR-1B2121000.400.400.400
Torii Hunter , RF3011001.333.333.333
  Steven Moya , PR-RF1000101.000.333.000
Alex Avila , C20200001.0001.0001.000
Austin Jackson , CF3021011.667.667.667
Francisco Martinez , 2B4010004.250.400.250
Danny Worth , 3B3110112.250.400.500
Hernan Perez , 2B3010004.400.400.400
James McCann , C3000006.000.000.000
Trevor Crowe , LF2000013.000.000.000
Ezequiel Carrera , CF1000011.500.500.500
Eugenio Suarez , SS1111000.500.3331.000
Totals3651354526  
BATTING
2B - D Worth (1); E Suarez (1)
RBI - M Cabrera (1); J Lennerton (1); T Hunter (1); A Jackson (1); E Suarez (2)
BASERUNNING
CS - F Martinez (1)
Detroit Tigers
Rick Porcello 2.01111304.50
Duane Below 1.01110019.00
Joba Chamberlain 1.01000100.00
Ian Krol (W,1-0) 1.00000100.00
Joe Nathan 1.00000200.00
Luke Putkonen 2.01000300.00
Bruce Rondon (S,1) 1.00000000.00