The Detroit Tigers recorded their third straight spring training tie on Monday, playing to a 7-7 stalemate with the Mets. The big story for Detroit, though, came from a few candidates in the ongoing battle for the No. 5 starter spot.
Turner was lit up by the Mets to the tune of four hits, two walks and six runs (five earned) over 1.2 innings. All six of those runs came home in the fifth inning, with the big blow coming when Lucas Duda took Turner deep for a grand slam. It was the second consecutive shaky appearance for Turner, who now holds an 11.25 ERA this spring.
The pitching star of the day for Detroit was Andy Oliver, another guy in the fifth-starter race. He finished the 10-inning tie with four shutout innings of one-hit ball. Oliver also did not walk any and struck out two. Granted, that effort came mostly against backups, but Oliver was far sharper than Turner in all regards.
Detroit scored three in the second on RBI singles by Miguel Cabrera and Delmon Young and a sac fly by Alex Avila. The Tigers then rallied back to erase the 7-3 deficit Turner left them with by plating three in the fifth (Avila, Jhonny Peralta and Gerald Laird drove those runs in) and one in the eighth on an Andy Dirks double.
TDSS Spring Training Take: It’s no secret that the Tigers would love to have one left-handed starter in their rotation, and Turner has done absolutely nothing thus far to justify a five-righty setup. Smyly might be the front-runner to win the job — he hit 94 with his fastball and generally had good stuff Monday — but Oliver is putting himself into the discussion.