Right-hander Matt Manning started for the Tigers and allowed three runs across three innings, while Blue Jays right-hander Alek Manoah countered with four scoreless innings in an efficient start.
The Tigers’ offense didn’t score until the sixth inning, when Eric Haase hit a solo home run to left field against righty reliever Julian Merryweather.
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It was Haase’s second homer this spring.
Outfielder Riley Greene, playing right field instead of center , had a web gem in the first inning, robbing extra bases from Bo Bichette with a diving catch. Wind speeds were more than 20 mph, and the ball was hit with a 107.4 mph exit velocity. Then, Greene showcased his strong arm with a throw to hold George Springer at second base.
Manning give up his three runs on four hits and two walks with three strikeouts. The 24-year-old pitched into the fourth inning, when he walked back-to-back batters without an out.
Manning tossed 42 of his 67 pitches for strikes.
His first earned run occurred in the second inning, as Lourdes Gurriel Jr. blasted his 94 mph four-seam fastball for a solo home run. Manning got ahead of Gurriel 0-2 in the count before three consecutive curveballs made it 3-2. On the next pitch, Gurriel took him deep to left-center.
For his 67 pitches, Manning used 24 sinkers (36%), 13 curveballs (19%), 13 four-seam fastballs (19%), 12 sliders (18%) and five changeups (7%). He recorded eight swings and misses: two sinkers, three four-seamers, two sliders and one changeup. He also logged eight called strikes, including five with his curveball.
His fastball averaged 94.3 mph.
At the plate
Before Haase got to Merryweather in the sixth, the Tigers applied some pressure in the fifth inning but came up empty. Spencer Torkelson opened the frame with a single to center on a first-pitch fastball.
With two outs, Greene doubled to right.
The Tigers had two runners in scoring position, but Robbie Grossman struck out swinging. Although Merryweather allowed hits to the Tigers’ top prospects, he struck out three batters in the inning: Grossman, Isaac Paredes and Jack Lopez.
In the seventh, the Tigers scored two runs off right-handed reliever David Phelps. Ryan Kreidler doubled and Lopez reached on a fielding error before pinch-hitter Kerry Carpenter — replacing Grossman — produced a two-run single, cutting the Blue Jays’ lead to 5-3.
Greene finished 1-for-3 with one strikeout. The 21-year-old is hitting .400 (8-for-20) and slugging .950 with two home runs in 10 spring games. Torkelson, 22, went 1-for-1 and has a .292 batting average (7-for-24) and .458 slugging percentage in 11 games.
1. Greene, 2. Haase, 3. Joe Jimenez.
Friday vs. New York Yankees in Lakeland.