DETROIT (AP) ― Now in his fourth season, Rick Porcello has a lot of experience for a 23-year-old.
Detroit hopes he’s finally ready to become one of the game’s elite pitchers.
Porcello threw seven solid innings on a snowy afternoon at Comerica Park, and Detroit’s powerful offense finally broke through in the eighth Tuesday to give the Tigers a 5-2 win over the Tampa Bay Rays. Miguel Cabrera doubled and scored on Prince Fielder’s single, part of a decisive three-run rally.
Porcello allowed two runs and seven hits, working at a comfortable pace in the chilly weather.
“I don’t think I even realized how fast I was going,” Porcello said. “I was throwing strikes and I guess wanted to keep that going.”
After Fielder’s tiebreaking single, a light snow shower passed briefly over Comerica Park. Jhonny Peralta added a sacrifice fly and Gerald Laird followed with an RBI single for a three-run lead.
|Dodgers fans cheer during opening day celebrations in Los Angeles on Tuesday. (AP-Yonhap News)|
Phil Coke (1-0) pitched the eighth in relief of Porcello, and Jose Valverde finished for his first save of the season. Valverde blew a save chance for the first time since 2010 in Thursday’s opener against Boston.
Austin Jackson homered for Detroit, the AL’s last unbeaten team after handing the Rays their first defeat.
Porcello struck out four and walked one in a game that began amid snow flurries with the temperature in the 40s. Although the Tigers scored 26 runs in a three-game sweep of Boston, their starting pitching was already becoming a concern. Doug Fister went on the disabled list with a left side strain, and Max Scherzer couldn’t make it out of the third inning in his start Sunday.
Porcello went 14-9 as a rookie in 2009, but he posted ERAs of 4.92 and 4.75 the last two years. On Tuesday, he settled into a nice rhythm in an encouraging effort.
LA Dodgers 2, Pittsburgh 1
NY Yankees 5, Baltimore 4
Toronto 7, Boston 3
St. Louis 3, Cincinnati 1
Washington 6, NY Mets 2
Texas 1, Seattle 0
Milwaukee 7, Chicago Cubs 4
Atlanta 6, Houston 4
Kansas City 3, Oakland 0
Arizona 4, San Diego 2