Gameday Live: Rays at Tigers
Update: Tigers win 9-6.
Update, 3:33 The Tigers took the lead back after an odd-play in the outfield, with CF Elliot Johnson and LF Justin Ruggiano converging for a fly ball. They didn't collide, but the ball bounced off Johnson's glove, allowing two runs to score.
Tigers 8, Rays 6 (bottom seventh)
Update, 3:23: Tigers scratch out a few runs to tie it in the 7th, 6-6. The crowd of 9,671 is the fourth largest in the history of Lakeland's Joker Marchant Stadium.
Update 3:08 p.m. Sean Rodriguez continued the Rays rally with a two-run homer of his own, giving Tampa Bay a 6-4 lead. He now leads the team with four homers.
Update 2:59p.m. Justin Ruggiano continued his impressive spring, ripping a game-tying, two run homer in the seventh. It was Ruggiano's third homer of the spring, tying him for the team lead with Sean Rodriguez.
Update 2:59p.m. Pat Burrell just hit an RBI double in the seventh, scoring pinch-runner J.J. Furmaniak all the way from first base.
Tigers 4, Rays 2
Update 2:52 p.m. Jeff Larish hit a two-run, two-out single in the sixth off RHP Joe Bateman, giving the Tigers a 4-1 lead heading into the seventh.
Update 2:38 p.m. Some of the regulars are getting swapped out, with Hank Blalock now at first, Dan Johnson at third, and Elliot Johnson in center.
Update 2:28 p.m. The two newest Tigers, CF Austin Jackson and LF Johnny Damon, combined for a two-out rally to put Detroit back on top in the sixth.
Jackson tripled off RHP Mike Ekstrom, and Damon singled up the middle.
Tigers 2, Rays 1
Update 2:18 p.m. C John Jaso hit a solo homer with two outs in the fifth off LHP Phil Coke, tying the game at 1-1.
Update 2:08 p.m. Some nice plays by the Rays defensively, with Evan Longoria fielding a ball near the line and making an on-the-run throw to rob Austin Jackson of a hit in the fourth. Reid Brignac has made a couple strong plays at short, including racing up the middle to get a grounder.
Niemann just finished his day, getting pulled after 3 2/3 innings. He's given up just one run on three hits, settling down after the first inning. But there's still a runner on third with Mike Ekstrom coming in to relieve him.
Update 1:36 p.m. Willy Aybar picked up an opposite field double in his first-at bat Sunday, but he was stranded at second.
Tigers 1, Rays 0 (bottom second)
Update 1:26 p.m. The Tigers scored a run off RHP Jeff Niemann in the first inning, with new leadoff man Austin Jackson leading off with a single, advancing to second on a wild pitch, and scoring on a double by Magglio Ordonez.
But Niemann got out of it without any further trouble, as B.J. Upton made a nice running catch near the warning track on a Carlos Guillen fly ball to end the inning.
Tigers 1, Rays 0
We're live from Lakeland, at one of the Grapefruit League's best parks (Joker Marchant Stadium).
The Rays are playing the Tigers, with RHP Jeff Niemann on the mound.
Some things to watch include Sean Rodriguez starting in rightfield, as the Rays want to see how he plays in several positions. Willy Aybar will be at second base after a left wrist injury limited him earlier in spring.