The Detroit Tigers would not be denied in their annual exhibition opener against Florida Southern Thursday afternoon.
Shut out through six innings, they finally took the lead with three runs in the bottom of the seventh for the 6-1 win, pushing their record to 29-1-2 against the Moccasins.
To start, there were no injuries.
Opening the spring slate was right-hander Alex Wilson, who is competing for a spot in the starting rotation. Wilson threw a pair of scoreless innings on 25 pitches, striking out five.
Wilson threw to catcher James McCann, who played four innings. The only other projected regular in the starting lineup, leftfielder Mikie Mahtook, went 0-for-1.
After focusing so much on fundamentals during the first week of spring training, the Tigers committed four errors in the first four innings. Two were throwing errors by McCann on attempted stolen bases. The fourth, a booted ball by prospect Kody Eaves at third base, plated Southern Florida’s first run.
In the bottom of the seventh, the Tigers tied the game when outfielder Victor Reyes — selected in this winter’s Rule 5 draft from the Diamondbacks — hit a wind-aided double to left-centerfield. Prospect infielder Harold Castro followed with a wind-aided double of his own, scoring two runs, and the Tigers did not look back.
On the mound, roster contenders Joe Jimenez, Buck Farmer, Enrique Burgos and Kevin Comer all threw. Jimenez looked great. Farmer was the victim of multiple errors. Burgos threw hard and Comer walked one batter.
The Tigers tacked on three runs in the eighth inning courtesy of a RBI double from Jim Adduci — who played first base — and a two-run double from utilityman Alexi Amarista.
The Tigers open up Grapefruit League play Friday afternoon against the Yankees in Tampa.