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J.D. Martinez hits 4th HR, Tigers trip Mets

Tony Paul
The Detroit News
J.D. Martinez is congratulated by Yoenis Cespedes after Martinez's solo home run in the first inning Saturday.

Lakeland, Fla. -- Hey, look, the Tigers finally won a game.

In beating the Mets, 6-4, on a humid Saturday at Joker Marchant Stadium, the Tigers snapped their nine-game winless streak, which included eight losses and a tie.

Not that spring-training records mean much. The Tigers entered Saturday with the second-worst spring record, ahead of only the Giants, who, you might recall, have won three of the last five World Series.

You might also recall that Detroit had an 11-17 spring record in 1984.

You get the point.

Anyway, David Price pitched Saturday, and looked good, except when he didn't. He had his curveball and changeup working, except when he didn't. He was up and down, in other words -- enough to get seven strikeouts, but enough for the Mets to also rack up eight hits during his 4.1-inning outing. He allowed two runs and walked a batter.

Price said afterward he was mostly pleased, though he didn't like that so many of his pitches floated up in the zone -- including one in the first inning that Mets left fielder John Mayberry Jr. hit right back at Price, a scorcher, that the ace lefty got his glove on, deflecting it in the air to second baseman Hernan Perez for the out.

Price left the field in the first inning with a smile on his face, and then was met near the base line by catcher Bryan Holaday.

"He wanted to see if I needed to change my sliders," Price said, laughing.

The Tigers' offense was quiet early, except for J.D. Martinez's fourth home run of the spring -- a towering drive right down the right-field line in the first inning off impressive, and young (23), Mets lefty Steven Matz.

The Tigers struck for three in the sixth inning to take the lead, on Nick Castellanos' RBI single, a Mets fielding error and a Hernan Perez sacrifice fly.

Tied 4-4 in the eighth, the Tigers scored twice, both on Mets wild pitches, scoring electric prospect Javier Betancourt and Josh Wilson.

The Tigers return to action Sunday, with split-squad action -- a road game against the Braves at Disney World, and a home game against the Nationals.

Miguel Cabrera is expected to see his first major-league action of the spring in the home game, and the same for Victor Martinez in the road game. They'll both likely DH.

tpaul@detroitnews.com

twitter.com/tonypaul1984​