Detroit Tigers' Julio Teheran, Jose Urena sharp in 4-2 exhibition loss to New York Yankees

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Evan Petzold, Detroit Free Press
·4 min read
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LAKELAND, Fla. — The Detroit Tigers lost to the New York Yankees, 4-2, on Friday at Publix Field at Joker Marchant Stadium.

The Tigers dropped to 6-5 in Grapefruit League play.

What happened

Right-hander Julio Teheran started for the Tigers and went three innings. His fastball velocity averaged 92 mph and maxed out at 93.4 mph. Last year, his fastball velocity with the Los Angeles Angels averaged 89.2 mph. Righty Jose Urena, who signed a one-year, $3.25 million contract this winter, went nine up, nine down in his three innings.

Renato Nunez and Daz Cameron made their spring training debuts, with Nunez playing first base and Cameron taking over for Cabrera as the designated hitter. Because of an elbow injury, Cameron going to be eased back into the outfield.

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Starting off

Along with Teheran's uptick in velocity, he commanded the strike zone. He did an excellent job of pitching in the zone early, striking out Gary Sanchez (slider, swinging) and Clint Frazier (slider, swinging) in the first inning. He loaded the bases in the second inning with no outs but limited the damage to two runs. His fastest pitch was a 93.4 mph sinker to Frazier in the third inning, resulting in a double play. Then, Derek Dietrich struck out swinging on an 83.6 mph slider to conclude Teheran's performance. He got 10 swings-and-misses, including five with his slider and three with his two-seam fastball.

Detroit Tigers starting pitcher Julio Teheran throws a pitch against the New York Yankees during the first inning at Joker Marchant Stadium, March 12, 2021 in Lakeland, Fla.
Detroit Tigers starting pitcher Julio Teheran throws a pitch against the New York Yankees during the first inning at Joker Marchant Stadium, March 12, 2021 in Lakeland, Fla.

At the plate

The Tigers scored their first run in the bottom of the fifth inning. Candelario doubled off the glove of the third baseman, and then Willi Castro singled to put runners at the corners for Miguel Cabrera. The veteran lined out to right field for a sacrifice fly, cutting the team's deficit to one run. He finished 0-for-2 and is hitting .231 this spring. Niko Goodrum went 0-for-3 with three strikeouts. Jeimer Candelario picked up two of the team's six hits. Robbie Grossman seems to be penciled in as the leadoff hitter; he took two walks in three plate appearances. Harold Castro doubled to right field in the ninth inning to score a run, but he got caught in a rundown between second and third base.

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On the mound

Urena struggled with his command in his first spring training appearance. This time, he was much improved. He got five swings-and-misses — three with his slider, two with his two-seamer — and ripped his fastball at an average of 95.3 mph, maxing out at 96.1 mph. In the eighth inning, Jose Cisnero gave up a two-run home run on a 96.3 mph fastball to Rob Brantley. Cisnero was pulled — after 21 pitches — after the next batter worked a five-pitch walk. Erasmo Ramirez got the final two outs on a double play and pitched the entire ninth inning.

Tigers third baseman Jeimer Candelario singles against the Yankees during the third inning at Publix Field at Joker Marchant Stadium on Friday, March 12, 2021.
Tigers third baseman Jeimer Candelario singles against the Yankees during the third inning at Publix Field at Joker Marchant Stadium on Friday, March 12, 2021.

Prospects

Greene and Spencer Torkelson entered the game in the sixth inning as defensive replacements. In the top of the seventh, Greene tracked a hard hit from Thairo Estrada, made the catch and held on despite taking a tumble on the warning track. Greene went 0-for-1 with one walk; Torkelson went 0-for-2 with a strikeout looking.Jake Rogers singled to left field in his lone at-bat.

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Torkelson is 0-for-15 with nine strikeouts and three walks in eight games.

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Three stars

1. Urena, 2. Teheran, 3. Grossman.

Next up

Saturday vs. Philadelphia Phillies in Clearwater.

Evan Petzold is a sports reporter at the Detroit Free Press. Contact him at epetzold@freepress.com or follow him on Twitter @EvanPetzold.

This article originally appeared on Detroit Free Press: Detroit Tigers' Julio Teheran, Jose Urena sharp in 4-2 loss to Yankees