Castillo, Kensing battle for final Tigers roster spot

Chris McCosky
The Detroit News
Kate Upton signs autographs for fans Thursday in Lakeland. She was at the park for the annual  pet adoption event she hosts with Justin Verlander.

Lakeland, Fla. – The Tigers’ last roster battle of the spring, at least as of Thursday, was between right-handers Lendy Castillo and Logan Kensing for the final bullpen spot.

Both pitched two innings in the 10-6 win over the Yankees. Kensing started, pitched two scoreless innings, allowing two hits and striking out three. He didn’t walk anybody.

Castillo gave up a two-run homer to Austin Romine (Andrew Romine’s brother) in his two innings. He also walked a batter.

“Castillo is more of a power pitcher and Kensing is more of an experienced veteran,” manager Brad Ausmus said.

Asked if a third pitcher could get involved in the battle, Ausmus said, “I guess it’s conceivable but we’re getting a little short on time for that.”

Around the horn

Left-hander Kyle Ryan was supposed to start. He was scratched Wednesday because he was ill, and even though he felt better and tried to go through his pre-game routine, he was too weak. Ausmus said he could pitch Friday.

… Victor Martinez homered in his first game against Major League pitching since March 14. He went 1-for-4. He had been out with a mild hamstring strain.

… Justin Verlander and girlfriend Kate Upton hosted their annual adopt-a-pet day before the game, raising money for Grand Slam Adoption. Seven of the 15 dogs that were shown were adopted.

Twitter @cmccosky

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