2/23/2013 4:30 P.M. ET
Zawadzki's pinch-hit grand slam lifts Blue Jays
By Jason Beck / MLB.com
LAKELAND, Fla. -- A day after Tigers starters went hitless in the Grapefruit League opener, they had a slugfest with the Blue Jays on Saturday with the wind blowing out at Joker Marchant Stadium. Though Prince Fielder and Miguel Cabrera both hit mammoth home runs early to power Detroit in front, Toronto topped it with a Lance Zawadzki grand slam and a Ryan Goins three-run homer for a 10-3 win.
Though the Blue Jays kept some of their big bats at home, their travel squad more than made up for it. All of Toronto's runs came off Detroit's bullpen after two scoreless innings from Tigers starter Anibal Sanchez.
Fielder's drive off Blue Jays starter Brandon Morrow set the tone for the afternoon, soaring deep to right field and bouncing off the top of the indoor batting cage building before settling in the players parking lot. The two-run shot was one of three hits off Morrow, who struck out Andy Dirks with a runner on to escape further damage in his lone inning.
Two innings later, Cabrera greeted Steve Delabar with a drive to left-center field that hit the top of the berm.
After Brett Lawrie's two-run single propelled a three-run third inning off former Blue Jay Shawn Hill, Zawadzki's pinch grand slam in the sixth off Ryan Robowski put Toronto up for good. Goins powered a drive to right off Tigers relief prospect Melvin Mercedes.
"It felt good just getting that at-bat," Zawadzki said. "You never know in the first at-bat because you're always nervous in your first at-bat of the spring. I was tight, but it felt good."
Tigers closer candidate Bruce Rondon made his first outing of the spring with a scoreless fifth inning.
Up next for Blue Jays: Toronto has its lone set of split-squad games this spring on Sunday. Mark Buehrle will make his Blue Jays debut in Dunedin as they host the Orioles in a 1:05 p.m. ET game to be broadcast on Sportsnet 590 and MLB Gameday Audio. Meanwhile, J.A. Happ will make his first start of the spring as the Blue Jays visit the Yankees at Steinbrenner Field.