Duke a double threat for Pirates in win

Duke a double threat for Bucs in win

at Bradenton, Fla.
Wednesday, March 26

Tigers at the plate: The Tigers dented the scoreboard for the first time in the third when Marcus Thames' double drove in left fielder Freddy Guzman. Designated hitter Gary Sheffield finished the day 1-for-3 with one run scored. Thames and shortstop Edgar Renteria each had two hits on the afternoon.

Pirates at the plate: As much of a nemesis as he was to the Tigers from the mound, Zach Duke proved to be just as troublesome at the plate. The left-handed starter had a two-RBI single in the first and another RBI hit two innings later to push the Pirates out to the early lead. Adam LaRoche finished the day with two hits, an RBI and a run scored. Third baseman Jose Bautista also had a multihit game, and scored twice.

Tigers on the mound: Struggling with his control from the outset, Dontrelle Willis was pulled after facing two hitters in the fourth. Willis issued four walks -- including two with the bases loaded in the first -- and gave up eight hits and seven runs (six earned) in his final start of Spring Training. Willis was relieved by Yorman Bazardo, who pitched two scoreless innings, and lefty Danny Zell followed with a scoreless appearance of his own.

Pirates on the mound: Duke put together a strong start yet again -- this one lasting five innings -- in his final Grapefruit League game this spring. Duke scattered six hits, allowed one run and struck out five on his way to picking up the win. Evan Meek, making his final case for one of the Pirates' final bullpen spots, gave up three walks, two hits and a run in two innings of relief.

Grapefruit League records: Tigers 13-13-3; Pirates 11-16.

Up next for the Tigers: The Tigers will wrap up the Grapefruit League portion of their Spring Training schedule on Thursday with a 1:05 p.m. ET game against the Phillies at Joker Marchant Stadium in Lakeland, Fla. Kenny Rogers will make his final spring tune-up when he takes the mound opposite Adam Eaton. The game will be televised on FSN Detroit and on MLB.TV.

Up next for the Pirates: The Pirates head to Tampa, Fla., on Thursday to face the Yankees for the final time this spring. The 1:05 p.m. ET contest will be Tom Gorzelanny's final tune-up before he makes his first regular-season start next Wednesday against the Braves. The Yankees will send lefty Kei Igawa to the mound.

Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.