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Detroit Tigers allow 13 runs in error-filled fourth inning, lose 18-5 to Toronto Blue Jays

LAKELAND, Fla. — The Detroit Tigers lost to the Toronto Blue Jays, 18-5, on Saturday at Publix Field at Joker Marchant Stadium.

The Tigers dropped to 5-4 in Grapefruit League play.

What happened

Three pitchers were responsible for allowing 13 runs in the fourth inning.

Right-hander Will Vest was charged with six runs, while left-hander Jake Higginbotham was charged with six runs (five earned). Neither reliever recorded an out. Righty Angel De Jesus picked up all three outs but surrendered an unearned run.

The Tigers' defense didn't help. Three players — De Jesus (fielding), catcher Donny Sands (throwing) and first baseman Andre Lipcius (dropped foul) — were charged with errors in the fourth.

Detroit Tigers pitcher Spencer Turnbull throws live batting practice during spring training at TigerTown in Lakeland, Fla., on Thursday, Feb. 23, 2023.
Detroit Tigers pitcher Spencer Turnbull throws live batting practice during spring training at TigerTown in Lakeland, Fla., on Thursday, Feb. 23, 2023.

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In the fifth inning, shortstop Jermaine Palacios made a fielding error. The Blue Jays scored four more runs for an 18-1 lead. They scored those runs against right-hander Beau Brieske.

Brieske was supposed to pitch three innings out of the bullpen, but he only logged two outs before the Tigers pulled him.

The fourth and fifth innings were nothing short of disastrous.

Starting off

Right-hander Spencer Turnbull, who has recovered from Tommy John surgery, took the mound for his first game action since June 4, 2021. He pitched two innings and allowed one run on two hits.

Turnbull tossed 19 of 25 pitches for strikes.

He posted two strikeouts without a walk.

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He struck out the first two batters he faced: Kevin Kiermaier with a slider and Danny Jansen with a 95.8 mph fastball. His slider, though, wasn't effective in the second inning and will be a point of emphasis in his next outing.

Turnbull's fastball averaged 94.3 mph.

At the plate

The Tigers scored one run in the second inning, one run in the fifth inning and three runs in the sixth inning. In the sixth, Miguel Cabrera launched his first home run of spring training.

He pulled an 80.6 mph cutter from right-handed reliever Thomas Hatch onto the left-field berm. The ball traveled 381 feet and was hit with a 100.5 mph exit velocity. The two-run homer cut the Tigers' deficit to 18-4.

Mario Feliciano tacked on an RBI single for the Tigers' final run.

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Parker Meadows, hitting .294 this spring, drilled a double in the second inning and scored on Lipcius' RBI single. Zack Short hit his second home run in as many days in the fifth.

Detroit Tigers pitchers and catchers went through drills and a bullpen session during Spring Training Tuesday, February 14, 2023. Pitcher Matt Wisler plays catch before his bullpen session during practice.
Detroit Tigers pitchers and catchers went through drills and a bullpen session during Spring Training Tuesday, February 14, 2023. Pitcher Matt Wisler plays catch before his bullpen session during practice.

On the mound

Right-hander Matt Wisler pitched a scoreless third inning.

He threw 12 sliders and two four-seam fastballs, with his slider sitting around 78 mph. Last season, Wisler's slider averaged 79.8 mph. By the end of spring, he wants his slider to be in the 82-83 mph range.

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The Tigers were saved by three minor-league campers: left-hander Andrew Magno, right-hander Carlos Guzman and righty Dario Gardea. They combined for 4⅓ scoreless innings to end the game.

Guzman pitched the seventh and eighth.

Three stars

1. Turnbull; 2. Cabrera; 3. Guzman.

Next up

Sunday (1:05 p.m.) vs. Minnesota Twins in Fort Myers (Bally Sports Detroit).

Contact Evan Petzold at epetzold@freepress.com or follow him on Twitter @EvanPetzold.

This article originally appeared on Detroit Free Press: Detroit Tigers blasted, 18-5, by Jays in Spencer Turnbull's return