Lakeland, FL, United States (4E Sports) – Bradley Glenn hit a tiebreaking homer in the 10th inning to lift the Toronto Blue Jays to a 3-2 win over the Detroit Tigers Tuesday at Joker Marchant Stadium.
Glenn sent Melvin Mercedes’ 3-1 fastball over the left-field beam for his first home run of the spring as the Blue Jays improved to 6-6.
Jays starter Todd Redmond, bidding for the fifth spot in Toronto’s rotation, surrendered two runs on five hits with three strikeouts. John Stilson notched his second win after pitching two scoreless frames while Ryan Tepera got the save after a scoreless ninth.
Justin Verlander pitched 3 2/3 scoreless frames with two strikeouts in his first Spring Training start for the Tigers, who slipped to 7-6.
Verlander was originally scheduled to make his first start last Thursday against the Phillies before rain washed that game out. He finally took the mound Tuesday and threw his first 11 pitches for strikes, 10 of those pitches fastballs, to retire the side on one hit in the opening inning.
Verlander erased a leadoff walk in the second with a caught stealing, then erased a third-inning walk on a double play after changing speeds on Jays leadoff man Jose Reyes. He dropped a curveball on the corner for a called third strike to Anthony Gose, giving him his lone strikeout.
“I felt good,” Verlander said. “Felt great to get back out there, working some batters, throwing my offspeed for strikes, and getting some swings-and-misses. I wasn’t perfect, but it was good, in the direction I want to go in.”
Verlander pitched with a lead once Don Kelly hit a two-run homer in the second inning off Redmond. It marked the fifth home run in three games from a Tigers squad that hit just two in its first 11 games.
“I feel good, I feel comfortable,” Kelly said. “I really put some good swings on some balls. You really don’t worry about the results as long as you put together good at-bats.”
Dan Johnson erased Detroit’s lead with a two-run homer in a treacherous seventh inning for Joba Chamberlain, who gave up back-to-back two-out walks before inducing a Ryan Goins comebacker.
Bruce Rondon scattered two singles in the ninth, but ended Toronto’s threat by jamming Steve Tolleson into a double play.