Cecil stumbles in final spring start for Blue Jays
Host Tigers tag left-hander for nine runs, seven in second inning
LAKELAND, Fla. -- Prince Fielder and Delmon Young hit back-to-back home runs, the latter being Young's sixth homer of the spring, as part of a seven-run second inning that allowed Detroit to cruise to an 11-8 victory over the Blue Jays on Monday afternoon in the Tigers' home finale at Joker Marchant Stadium.
The matchup between the two best records in the Grapefruit League turned early in the Tigers' favor once Omar Vizquel and Luis Valbuena ran into each other behind second base on Fielder's popup, allowing Brennan Boesch to score on the errant drop. Young doubled in Fielder for a 2-0 lead.
The real damage came the next inning, when eight consecutive Tigers reached base safely after Blue Jays starter Brett Cecil retired leadoff hitter Jhonny Peralta. The first seven of those were base hits, including Austin Jackson's RBI double and Boesch's two-run single.
After Miguel Cabrera singled, Fielder's ball looked like a sky-high fly out in the making, but it carried enough to clear the fence in the right-field corner as Ben Francisco gradually ran out of room. The three-run shot was Fielder's second homer in as many days and fourth this spring.
By contrast, Young's shot was a line drive off the left-field berm. His two-hit game ended a 1-for-11 stretch and moved him back into a tie with Boesch and Ryan Raburn for the team home run lead this spring.
The long break messed with Drew Smyly's command a bit in his first outing since being named Detroit's fifth starter on Sunday, but he recovered well enough. He retired eight of Toronto's first nine batters, then battled with runners on base for much of the rest of his afternoon. Vizquel accounted for half the damage off of him with a two-run homer in the fifth.
Smyly allowed four runs on four hits over 5 1/3 innings, leaving after he struck out Adam Lind for the first out of the sixth inning.
Up next: The Tigers and Blue Jays wrap up their Grapefruit League schedules with the back end of their home-and-home set, heading to Dunedin for a 12:05 p.m. ET matchup. Max Scherzer will make his final tuneup of the spring for Detroit opposite Henderson Alvarez, who's ticketed for the fourth spot in Toronto's rotation after what has been a stingy spring.