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Smyly pitches well in spring debut
Detroit Tigers starting pitcher Drew Smyly throws in the first inning of a spring exhibition baseball game against the Atlanta Braves, Wednesday, Feb. 26, 2014, in Kissimmee, Fla. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
KISSIMMEE, Fla. (AP) — In a spring training game that ended with both teams leaving the field and neither side sure who won, the Detroit Tigers were later awarded a 6-5 victory over the Atlanta Braves in a rain-shortened exhibition Wednesday.
Hernan Perez hit a two-run, two-out single in the top of the ninth inning that put the Tigers ahead.
The game was stopped with two outs in the bottom of the ninth with a Braves runner on first base, and it never resumed.
Tigers starter Drew Smyly, who is joining the starting rotation after two solid years in the bullpen, allowed a run and struck out two.
Smyly is expected to take the place of Doug Fister, who was traded to the Washington Nationals during the offseason.
"Drew had a good outing," Tigers manager Brad Ausmus said. "That's what we are looking for from him down here."
Smyly said he felt fine after his spring debut. Smyly pitched in 63 games last season, going 6-0 with a 2.37 ERA, but he didn't start a game all year and was used mostly as a setup man for the Tigers beleaguered bullpen.
"That was nice out there today," Smyly said. "I don't remember the last time I got to pitch two innings."
Smyly threw 40 pitches and threw nothing but fastballs in the first inning. He switched to some changeups in the second inning and said he felt fine.
"I have a whole month to get better," he said.