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Kelly grand slam leads Tigers over Blue Jays 18-4

Published on NewsOK Modified: March 18, 2014 at 6:08 pm •  Published: March 18, 2014

LAKELAND, Fla. (AP) — Don Kelly hit a grand slam and Austin Jackson and Ian Kinsler also homered to lead a Detroit Tigers' split squad over the Toronto Blue Jays 18-4 Tuesday.

Drew Smyly allowed two hits in five scoreless innings with three strikeouts.

"I liked what I saw from Drew today," Tigers manager Brad Ausmus said. "He had his cutter going, and it was another good outing for him. He also went against most of the Jays' starting lineup. That was important."

Non-roster outfielder Ben Guez had three hits to raise his average to .714 and walked three times. Torii Hunter, Kinsler, Jackson, and Danny Worth each had two hits for the Tigers.

Blue Jays starter Ricky Romero, competing for the fifth starter's spot, gave up three runs, three hits and five walks in 2 2-3 innings. Melky Cabrera went 3 for 3 with a double.


Blue Jays: Manager John Gibbons said Romero, who is due to make $7.5 million in each of the next two seasons, remains in the competition for a starter's job. "We need someone at the back end of the rotation," Gibbons said. "We are looking at him and some other guys." Another competitor, Kyle Drabek, was optioned to Triple A on Monday.

"I know I need to thrown strikes," Romero said. "I tried to battle and just had a bad outing. I just have to keep moving forward. This was my first start of the spring. All I can do now is go forward."

Tigers: Smyly, who didn't pitch more than two innings in any of his 63 outings last season, said he is still concerned about raising his pitch count before heading north. "I still have a couple of weeks to go," Smyly said. "I am anxious to get moving but it's about time to keep patient and stretch it all out."

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