Millwood struggles in first spring start

Millwood struggles in first spring start

at Lakeland, Fla.
Saturday, March 6

Orioles at the plate: Ty Wigginton accounted for Baltimore's first run when he jumped on a Justin Verlander fastball for a solo homer leading off the second inning. Wigginton went 2-for-3 on the day. The Orioles plated four more runs in the ninth, two of them on a Rhyne Hughes homer, but the rally fell short.

Tigers at the plate: Clete Thomas, batting leadoff and starting in center field in place of Austin Jackson, began a six-run Tigers first inning with a leadoff homer and capped it with an RBI single when the lineup came back around. Don Kelly continued his torrid week with a double and a single before Casper Wells added a two-run homer in the sixth. Ryan Strieby slugged an RBI triple in the same inning.

2010 Spring Training - null
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Orioles on the mound: Kevin Millwood's first appearance in an Orioles uniform was a rocky one, as he retired just two of the 10 hitters he faced before hitting his pitch count with two outs in the first inning. Just two of the seven hits he allowed went for extra bases, but those were damaging ones with Thomas' homer and Kelly's double. Matt Albers made a sooner-than-expected relief appearance, holding down Detroit for 2 1/3 innings. Dennis Sarfate and Cla Meredith added a scoreless inning apiece before Brandon Erbe gave up a three-run sixth.

Tigers on the mound: Verlander was arguably in early-season form with his stuff, but Orioles hitters tried to jump his fastball whenever they had the chance. Wigginton's homer was all the damage Verlander surrendered in his three innings. Jose Valverde made his Tigers debut with a scoreless fifth, helped by an inning-ending double play. Ryan Perry, Cody Satterwhite and Daniel Schlereth each tossed a scoreless inning.

Worth noting: The Orioles-Tigers meeting was the first in Spring Training in years. The two clubs were more than three hours apart when the Orioles trained in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., but halved that distance once the O's moved their Spring Training headquarters to Sarasota, Fla., for this year.

Grapefruit League records: Tigers 3-1, Orioles 1-3.

Up next: Three of the Tigers' back-end starting candidates are slated to take the mound for Round 2 of their Spring Training auditions when the Tigers visit the Blue Jays on Sunday for a 1:05 p.m. ET game in Dunedin, Fla. Jeremy Bonderman will make his second start at Dunedin Stadium in five days, followed again by Nate Robertson. This time, Armando Galarraga will follow them, as he tries to overcome his rough inning of relief on Thursday. Zach Miner is also slated to pitch.

The Orioles will go home to Ed Smith Stadium on Sunday afternoon, as right-hander Jeremy Guthrie faces Boston's Clay Buchholz for his second start this spring. The game is scheduled for a 1:05 p.m. ET start, a game that will be shown on MLB.TV. Guthrie will be followed by Mark Hendrickson, Kam Mickolio, David Hernandez and Will Ohman.

Jason Beck is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.