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Cornejo's Spring Struggles
Nate Cornejo's third consecutive subpar start Saturday hasn't threatened his spot as the fifth starter in the rotation, but it has Cornejo worried nonetheless.
LAKELAND, Mich. (AP) _ Rookie Mike Rivera, one of four candidates for the Detroit's starting catching job, doubled twice off Greg Maddux, and Damion Easley was 3-for-3 with a homer, as the Tigers beat the Atlanta Braves 4-2 Tuesday. Rivera's second double capped a three-run fourth inning. Craig Paquette singled home the first two runs after a two-out error by second baseman Marcus Giles.
"When you face a guy like Maddux, I know it's just spring training, but it's a great feeling to get a couple of hits against him," said Rivera, 25, who has never played above Double-A. "This is my first time to ever face a pitcher of that caliber."
It might not be his last. Rivera is competing with Mitch Meluskey, Brandon Inge and Javier Cardona for the starting catching job, and he's making an impression on manager Phil Garner and his teammates.
"The guy can flat-out hit," Easley said. "I don't know how he is behind the plate, but it looks like he can definitely hit." Rivera threw out Rafael Furcal trying to steal in the first inning. He also doubled off Maddux to lead off the third but did not score.
In four spring games, Rivera has a .357 average with two doubles and a home run. At Double-A Erie last year, he hit .289 with 33 home runs and 101 RBIs.
Detroit starter Jeff Weaver allowed seven singles in 4 2-3 innings before being removed after reaching his pitch limit of 65 pitches. He worked out of a bases-loaded, no-out jam in the fourth, retiring Wes Helms on a popup to first base then getting Eddie Perez to hit into a double play.
Atlanta scored both of its runs in the sixth off Bill Simas. B.J. Surhoff led off the inning with a homer and Furcal added an RBI single.
For the second straight day, Detroit's Dean Palmer, who had shoulder surgery last year, was scratched from the lineup as the DH.
He was scratched Monday when he felt a twinge of pain in his right shoulder while taking grounders before the game. His shoulder was fine Tuesday, but he woke up with a stiff neck, Garner said.
LAKELAND, Fla. (AP) _ Mark Redman pitched four scoreless innings and six players drove in runs as the Detroit Tigers defeated a Boston split-squad 6-3 Sunday.Redman allowed three singles and struck out five in his third outing of the spring. "He continues to show good stuff," Tigers manager Phil Garner said.
The Tigers acquired Redman last season from Minnesota, but he made just two appearances because of a knee injury that required surgery in September. He's had no problems with his knee this spring and will be either the third or fourth starter in the Tigers' rotation. "He's a left-hander, and that's a plus," Garner said. "Plus, he's a guy who has won in the majors." Redman was 12-9 with Minnesota in 2000.
He was aided Sunday by a good defensive play in right field by Robert Fick, a former catcher who's making the switch to the outfield this year. Fick made a running catch on a line drive hit by Boston's Johnny Damon down the right-field line. It was the second straight day Fick has made a good catch in the outfield after misplaying a couple of balls earlier in the spring.
"I'm sure he's getting more confidence out there," Garner said. "He made a nice play (Sunday) and he had a good play (Saturday), but I'm also sure he'll hit a run where he'll see some tough balls, too." Fick is also having a good spring at the plate. He was 1-for-2 with an RBI single in a four-run third inning, extending his hitting streak to eight games and raising his spring average to .440.
Detroit's Shane Halter also extended his spring hitting streak to eight games with a run-scoring double in the second inning. Halter was 1-for-3 and is batting .500 this spring.
Boston starter Frank Castillo, who's competing for the fifth spot in the Red Sox's rotation, gave up five hits and five runs in three innings.
Craig Paquette and Dmitri Young singled home runs in the four-run third off Castillo. Dean Palmer drove in the other run with a sacrifice fly.
Boston scored three in the fifth off Detroit's Joe Valentine, two on Jose Offerman's first home run of the spring.
Detroit's Damion Easley doubled home a run in the sixth off Rolando Arrojo.
The Tigers gave permission for Bagwell to play as a designated hitter rather than first base since his surgically repaired right shoulder isn't ready for him to play the field. He went 2-for-4 with the homer and an RBI double.
Righthander Tim Redding and lefthander Carlos Hernandez continued their battle for the fifth spot in the Houston rotation. Redding started and scattered two hits and one run with one strikeout over three innings. Hernandez, 21, scattered two hits and one walk with two strikeouts over three scoreless innings.
Nate Cornejo was the Tigers' starter and suffered the loss. He gave up five hits and six runs, five earned, with one walk over two innings.
Tigers notes: Eric Munson cost the Tigers a run in the fifth inning when he missed third base as he tried to score on Shane Halter's single. The Yankees appealed and Munson was called out. "He wasn't even close," Tigers Manager Phil Garner said. ... Craig Wilson continues to impress in an effort to win a utility job. His two-out single in the first scored Young and Dean Palmer. ... A near capacity crowd of 6,629 attended the game at Joker Marchant Stadium. ... Shane Halter extended his hitting streak to five games.
LAKELAND, Fla. - The Detroit Tigers received a scare in the third inning Tuesday night when left-hander Mark Redman had to leave a start against the New York Yankees after being struck in the left knee by an Enrique Wilson hard grounder.
Redman, who was the winning pitcher in the Tigers' 4-3 triumph over a Yankees' split squad, said it was not serious, although it was the same knee that required surgery last year. "I feel I'll be back on the mound throwing on the side in a few days and be in the weight room tomorrow," Redman said. "I don't feel like it's going to be any setback. I was able to walk without a limp." Redman was led immediately to the trainer's room after Wilson's infield single and had his knee wrapped in the clubhouse.
"It hit the kneecap, but it was a two-hopper," Redman said. "They were just taking precautionary measures." Redman said if it was a regular season game, he could have remained in to pitch. "I tried to move my body to get my glove where it was coming at, but it hit my knee," he said. "I didn't know where the ball was. I didn't know if it shot in air or what. I picked the ball up and tried to make the play, but I probably should have just ate the ball and not tried to make a throw.
"The only thing going that went through my mind was that I was out of the game. I think even if I didn't get hit, I was done for the day. I was at my pitch count." Redman's threw 49 pitches, one under his pitch limit. "I knew I had 15 pitches going into that inning," Redman said. "I was trying to get everyone out real quick." Tigers manager Phil Garner said he "was pleased" with Redman's outing. "He did what he wanted to do for a couple of starts," Garner said. "That was a good sign." In his first start, Redman allowed a run on two hits and a walk in a no-decision against Pittsburgh.
A healthy Redman should be the Tigers' No. 3 or No. 4 starter when the season opens. He spent most of last season on the disabled list with a strained left triceps and a slight meniscus tear behind his left knee, which would require surgery on Sept. 5. He made only two starts for the Tigers after they acquired him in a July 28 trade with the Twins for Todd Jones.
"It is always in the back of your mind," Redman said of the surgery. "There's always concern is it going to be healthy, is it going to hold up, but [with] the work I did in the offseason to get it strong, I feel really confident coming in." Redman held the Yankees to one infield single, walked one and struck out two before Wilson bounced one off his knee.
"For my second outing, not too bad," he said. "They were hitting ground balls here and there. I was spotting my fastball. I fell behind a couple of guys, but I came right back with strikes." Redman went a combined 2-6 in 11 starts with Minnesota and Detroit last season. He also made four rehab starts in the minors. "I feel pretty confident," Redman said. "I came to Spring Training ready to pitch and I feel pretty good. I feel like I'm hitting my spots with my fastball."
Now if he can just avoid getting hit on the knee.
"I think just being out there was good for him," Tigers manager Phil Garner said. "You've got to have some rewards. You just can't keep going rehab, rehab, rehab with enthusiasm. I applaud him."
Greisinger was glad to be pitching again.
"As ugly as it was, it was better than lifting weights in the gym," he said.
Greisinger starred on the 1996 United States Olympic Team and was the Tigers' first-round pick that year. He was to be the cornerstone of their rotation, somebody they could build around. After 38 games in the minors, Greisinger was in the Majors by June 3, 1998 and on the operating table the next June.
Garner said Greisinger would start the season in the minors.
Reliever Danny Patterson has spasms in the middle of his back and is expected to be out five to seven days.
Third baseman/outfielder Craig Paquette sat out the game with a knot in the middle of his back, but should be ready to play in a couple of days. Craig Wilson filled in for Paquette at third and tripled and singled.
Outfielder Wendell Magee bruised a knee when he banged into the fence Saturday at Chain of Lakes Park at Winter Haven and did not play Sunday.
Center fielder Jose Macias was scratched from the lineup with a groin injury and was replaced by rookie Andres Torres, who had two hits, scored two runs, knocked in a run and swiped a base.
B-game pitching blues
The Tigers lost a morning 'B' game to the Indians, 17-7, at Winter Haven. Knuckleballer Steve Sparks started and pitched two innings. He gave up four unearned runs in the first.
Non-roster right-hander Terry Pearson was torched for nine runs on nine hits and two walks in 1 1/3 innings. Jared Camp, another non-roster right-hander, permitted four runs on five hits in 1 2/3 innings.
"We didn't pitch good," said Garner. "Everything was in the middle of the plate and they didn't miss it. Fifteen balls were hit over the outfielders' heads and I might be conservative."
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