CLEARWATER, Fla. (AP) — In his last start of the spring, Justin Verlander outdueled Cliff Lee, shutting out the Phillies over 6 1-3 innings in the Tigers’ 1-0 win.
Verlander has been nearly perfect this spring, not allowing a single run in 20 innings pitched. Wednesday might’ve been his most dominant outing yet.
Only Wil Nieves and Chase Utley managed hits off Tigers pitchers, both singles, for the Phillies.
Lee’s only mistakes came in the first, as Miguel Cabrera delivered a RBI groundout after Ian Kinsler tripled. Lee pitched five innings, allowing just the one run while striking out seven. Verlander also struck out seven hitters.
The Tigers did manage 10 hits Wednesday, all against pitchers with major-league experience. Torii Hunter went 2 for 3 with a double. Jared Reaves also had a double for Detroit.
Detroit: Justin Verlander upped his spring scoreless streak to 20 innings of work. Verlander is coming off shoulder surgery in the offseason, but has shown few ill effects from it.
“It’s what I expected,” Verlander said. “I don’t think you can allow yourself to doubt. When doubt creeps in your mind, that leads to failure. You have to look on the optimistic side of things.”
The Phillies played most of their regulars, something most teams do as spring nears its end. Six of the Phillies’ hitters Wednesday will start Opening Day.
“I feel like I’ve faced a lot of regulars this spring, I’ve been going on the road a lot,” Verlander said.
“So I’ve faced most of the lineups. I’d rather it be like that. You get a better gauge of where you’re at.”
Philadelphia: Cliff Lee gave up just one run over five innings of work, continuing his stellar spring as he heads into his Opening Day start.
“I mean I’ve felt good the whole time,” Lee said. “Spring training for me is over now. It’s on to the real games. So I’m looking forward to it.”
Lee, 35, has a 2.55 ERA this spring in six starts.
“He’s been outstanding,” ‘’That was obviously a quality lineup he was going up against. In some regards, probably should’ve had zeros up across the board.”
Domonic Brown was pulled from the game in the fourth inning due to flu symptoms, according to the Phillies. Brown has been feeling the side effects for last eight or nine days, Sandberg said.
Brown, the Phillies’ starting left fielder, is hitting .196 in 19 games played this spring.
ABREU WON’T MAKE ROSTER
Phillies outfielder and franchise star Bobby Abreu, 40, was informed he will not be on the Opening Day roster. Abreu has struggled in right field this spring, where the Phillies had hoped to play him once or twice a week in order to have his bat on the bench.
Abreu signed a minor-league contract with the Phillies in January. He hasn’t played in the majors leagues since 2012, and was set to make $800,000 if he’d made the team.