Prince Fielder is at least loosening up as the Tigers grind into the heart of their Grapefruit League schedule.
Fielder hit his second mammoth home run in five games, a sky-scraping blast that appeared to have eclipsed the right-field light tower's upper altitudes at Marchant Stadium, which was the Tigers' big moment in a 5-3 loss to the Braves.
Fielder's first-inning rocket came after Miguel Cabrera singled and chopped into a 3-0 Braves lead that came courtesy of Juan Francisco's soaring three-run homer off Tigers starter Rick Porcello. Fielder had hit another tape-measure homer Saturday off the roof of the batting shed beyond right field, about where his Wednesday homer landed.
Don Kelly's homer to right-center accounted for the only other Tigers run as 6,597 watched manager Jim Leyland's team slip to 2-3-1 on the season.
Porcello was not as sharp as he had been in last Friday's preseason opener, but neither was he as slipshod as his numbers suggested: three runs, four hits, and a hit batter in two innings. Two of the hits that bracketed Francisco's blast were ground-ball singles.
Porcello also struck out a batter as his fastball cruised at 92-94 mph. He was followed by Kyle Lobstein (two innings, one run, three hits) and by four Tigers relievers who each pitched an inning: Octavio Dotel (no hits, two strikeouts), Joaquin Benoit (one run, two hits, one strikeout), Phil Coke (one hit), and Brayan Villarreal (one strikeout).
Omar Infante added a double for the Tigers, who will play Thursday against the Rays at Port Charlotte.
From The Detroit News: http://www.detroitnews.com/article/20130227/SPORTS0104/302270430#ixzz2MCrxOdDo
Prince Fielder clubs another towering homer in Tigers' loss to Braves
Detroit News | Feb 28