Varland hit hard, Alcala exits with trainer as Tigers smash Twins 12-3

FORT MYERS, FLA. – Louie Varland, making his first start after he cemented a spot in the Twins' starting rotation, permitted nine hits and eight runs in four innings during the Twins' 12-3 loss to the Detroit Tigers on Wednesday at Hammond Stadium.

Varland will fill the final spot in the Twins' starting rotation after Anthony DeSclafani reinjured his elbow. Eight of the nine hits against Varland were singles before Carson Kelly hit a two-run homer to left field in the fourth inning.

"A lot of singles," said Varland, who previously hadn't allowed a run this spring. "I mean, it's just a matter of an inch or centimeter in some cases. Just one of those days."

BOXSCORE: Detroit 12, Twins 3

Varland wanted to throw more sinkers and changeups after facing lefty-heavy lineups in his last two outings. He had OK results with both pitches, but even soft contact against his fastball turned into hits.

The Tigers scored three more runs in the ninth inning against Twins reliever Jorge Alcala, who left the game after a visit from a trainer. Alcala's last pitch was 98 mph, but he drew the attention of the dugout when he looked at his hand afterward.

The Twins, playing in front of an announced sellout crowd of 8,379, produced two hits in 4 2/3 innings against Tigers starter Casey Mize. Byron Buxton reached on an infield single, and Royce Lewis doubled on a fly ball that was lost in the sun.

Ryan Jeffers ended Detroit's shutout bid with a solo homer to left field against Tigers lefty Joey Wentz.