Cabrera homers in first at-bat back from Classic
Scherzer, Sanchez, Villarreal combine for two-hitter, 16 strikeouts
LAKELAND, Fla. -- Miguel Cabrera's first game swing since the World Baseball Classic was good for a home run to left field, part of back-to-back homers with Torii Hunter, as the Tigers rolled to an 11-0 win over Florida Southern College in their annual Spring Training exhibition.
In most years, the game serves as the ceremonial start to the Tigers' spring schedule. With this year's Grapefruit League slate starting earlier because of the Classic, the two teams agreed to push their game back to what was previously a mid-week off-day in the middle of the spring schedule.
Cabrera returned to Tigers camp on Tuesday, but wasn't on the travel roster to Clearwater for Detroit's game against the Phillies. He was one of several Tigers regulars who were in Wednesday's lineup for one at-bat as a sign of respect for their collegiate neighbors (Florida Southern is also located in Lakeland).
Cabrera was already on a tear before leaving for the World Baseball Classic, and he continued that on Wednesday. Add together all of his spring games, and Cabrera's first-inning drive off Moccasins starter Mike Czenszak was his eighth in 42 at-bats this spring.
Tigers Minor Leaguers took over for the bulk of the game and provided the bulk of the scoring. Outfield prospect Stephen Moya went 3-for-3 with a double, a triple and three runs scored. Aaron Westlake added three RBIs, and Brayan Pena was 2-for-2.
Starter Max Scherzer tossed four innings of two-hit ball, with seven strikeouts and one walk. Anibal Sanchez followed with four hitless innings and six strikeouts in his first appearance since pitching for Venezuela in the World Baseball Classic, and Brayan Villarreal closed it out by striking out the side in the ninth.
Up next: The Tigers will head to Florida's Atlantic coast twice in the next three days, starting with Thursday's visit to Port St. Lucie for a 1:10 p.m. ET game against the Mets at Tradition Field. The game can be watched live on MLB.TV. Doug Fister will make his fourth start of the spring, having allowed nine runs over seven innings in his first three outings, before Bruce Rondon makes his next appearance in his bid for the closer's job. Rondon has struck out nine in 5 2/3 innings, but has also allowed nine hits and walked five.