Pudge enjoys big day at plate
Catcher's 3-for-3 effort overcomes sluggish start by Rogers
TIGERS 9, BRAVES 6
at Lake Buena Vista, Fla.
Friday, March 7
Tigers at the plate: Pudge Rodriguez went 3-for-3 with a homer and two doubles. Carlos Guillen's two-hit performance included a third-inning RBI single. Brandon Inge sparked a three-run eighth inning with his first homer.
Braves at the plate: Playing for the first time since tweaking his right hamstring on Sunday, Chipper Jones had two singles, including one that scored two runs in the third inning. Yunel Escobar had two hits to increase his Grapefruit League batting average to .526 (9-for-16).
Tigers on the mound: Starter Kenny Rogers allowed three runs -- two earned -- on three hits and one walk in 2 1/3 innings. Virgil Vasquez allowed one earned run and four hits in 2 2/3 innings.
Braves on the mound: Starter Mike Hampton allowed one unearned run in 1 1/3 innings before he was forced to exit with a mild right groin strain. Left-handed reliever Will Ohman allowed three earned runs in just one inning and right-handed reliever Matt DeSalvo worked two perfect innings.
Grapefruit League records: Tigers 6-4; Braves 6-3.
Up next: Jo-Jo Reyes and Buddy Carlyle will continue their bids to win a rotation spot when they start the opposite ends of the split-squad games the Braves will play on Saturday afternoon at 1:05 p.m. ET. Reyes will start against the Astros at Disney and Carlyle will oppose the Reds in Sarasota, Fla.
Jeremy Bonderman will start for the Tigers on Saturday when they travel to Dunedin, Fla., to face the Blue Jays. Each of these games is scheduled to start at 1:05 p.m. ET.
Mark Bowman is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.