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Tigers slugger Cabrera homers as Detroit whacks Braves

Detroit Tigers third baseman Miguel Cabrera, right, talks to Atlanta Braves bullpen coach Eddie Perez prior to a spring training baseball game Wednesday in Buena Vista, Fla.

Detroit Tigers third baseman Miguel Cabrera, right, talks to Atlanta Braves bullpen coach Eddie Perez prior to a spring training baseball game Wednesday in Buena Vista, Fla.

LAKELAND, Fla. — Miguel Cabrera’s first home run of the spring was quite a sight. Detroit Tigers manager Jim Leyland would rather see some more groundballs hit at his new third baseman.

Cabrera led off the third inning with a mighty home run over the left field berm in the Tigers’ 5-1 win against the Atlanta Braves, but he had only one ball hit toward him at third base.

“I don’t ever worry about him hitting,” Leyland said of the American League batting champion. “I want to see him get some action to get used to fielding the ball. I can’t play him nine innings, and at the end of five innings he hasn’t had many groundballs.”

Cabrera, moving to third base this spring to accommodate Prince Fielder at first base, made a good play on the ball hit to him Wednesday, saving rookie right-hander Jacob Turner from a big inning.

With two on and none out, the Braves’ Tyler Pastornicky hit a chopper that Cabrera had to come in on and then throw across his body for the out at first base.

“He made a good play on a guy that can run,” Leyland said.

Cabrera then chimed in.

“It’s only a tough play if you worry about making a perfect throw,” said Cabrera, who played third base in his first four major league seasons. “I just tried to get to it and not worry so much about the throw.”

Ryan Raburn’s two-run triple highlighted a four-run inning off Atlanta starter Brandon Beachy. Ryan Strieby and Clete Thomas also had hits in the inning, costing Beachy a loss in his first spring start.

“At this point last year, if I go out and do this, I’m at a totally different place in my mind,” said Beachy, who has a spot in the Braves’ rotation. “But (Wednesday) I felt good, and that’s always the No. 1 thing when you go out there for the first time.”

The 20-year-old Turner, bidding for the fifth spot in Detroit’s rotation, didn’t get through the second inning because of four walks.

“You want to get ready for the season, but at the same time you want to show what you can do out there. It wasn’t my best day,” he said. “I pride myself in not trying to walk people, so to walk however many guys I did today is obviously disappointing.”

Luis Marte came in to shut down the Braves and get the win.

Left-hander Andy Oliver, another candidate for the starting rotation, pitched three shutout innings for the Tigers.

J.C. Boscan drove in the Braves’ only run with a groundball after Drew Sutton’s triple in the seventh.

NOTES: Braves third baseman Chipper Jones sat out a fourth straight game, this time with sore thighs. … Jason Heyward was 0 for 2, dropping him to .091 (1 for 11) for the spring. “Hopefully he doesn’t worry about the numbers and just take it that he’s getting closer to where he wants to be,” said Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez. … Tiger center fielder Austin Jackson did not play and spent the day at bunting practice.

Comments

coachjohnson42 2 years, 1 month ago

ummmmmm.....as I stated earlier.............

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VSU 2 years, 1 month ago

Pick another team coach, quit complaining it's only spring training.

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VSU 2 years, 1 month ago

I'd bet if Obama was manager of the Braves, you would be saying how proud you are of the Braves and that they are awesome even if they went 0-162 for the season.

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coachjohnson42 2 years, 1 month ago

If Obama was the Coach, the team would have a REAL LEADER!!!

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VSU 2 years, 1 month ago

You call Obama leading a team to an 0-162 record a REAL LEADER? Leading the team to disaster, just like he is leading this country to is no definition of a great leader.

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The_Dude 2 years, 1 month ago

It's really simple. Heyward needs to hit the ball and prove he's worth the draft pick Atlanta spent on him and all the hype. He'll end up the way of Francouer if he doesn't step up. It's time for him to sh@# or get off the pot.

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coachjohnson42 2 years, 1 month ago

all of them need to step up......CHIPPER TOO!!!

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coachjohnson42 2 years, 1 month ago

I hate to say I told you so......but......

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The_Dude 2 years, 1 month ago

Chipper is done. He should have retired years ago. So you're bragging about being right that the Braves are struggling in spring training? Not to mention they've yet to play a full lineup. Congrats. They'll be fine.

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