Last time out, Bruce Rondon fired one fastball after another.

This time out, he mixed in a half-dozen off-speed pitches.

Each time, the results were good — plenty encouraging for a Tigers team still trying to figure out who's going to close games for them in 2013.

"We want him to use all his pitches, obviously. It's a good time to get a good feel for his pitches," Tigers pitching coach Jeff Jones said. "Last time out was mostly fastballs, and he controlled it very well.

"And today, he mixed it up a lot better and had a good outing."

Rondon, 22, still lit up the Joker Marchant Stadium radar gun — touching triple digits three times, including on his first and last pitch. He hit 100 once and 101 twice, among them his final pitch, which he blew past Omar Quintanilla of the New York Mets.

But he thought his ninth inning was complete several pitches earlier, when he threw a dandy breaking ball but didn't get the call.

He wanted it, though. "Si," Rondon said, with a big grin.

"That was a pretty good pitch," Jones said, also smiling.

"Just a little bit down," catcher Bryan Holaday said. "Maybe if it didn't break so much, it would've been a strike."

The right-hander threw 17 pitches in all, 11 for strikes, as he continues to look more comfortable on the mound. He allowed two more hits, but again, neither was hit hard — Collin Cowgill hit a flare over the second baseman's head, and Brian Bixler reached on an infield base hit that split third base and shortstop. Cowgill was quickly erased when Rondon got Wilmer Flores to ground into a double play.



From The Detroit News: http://www.detroitnews.com/article/20130311/SPORTS0104/303110445#ixzz2NKgx5xDM