Yankees hammer Tigers pitching, 9-5

Lynn Henning
The Detroit News

Tampa, Fla. — Not much in the way of a rescue was likely Tuesday after the Tigers tumbled into an early 8-0 hole against the Yankees at Steinbrenner Field.

And no such comeback occurred as the Tigers lost, 9-5, despite a three-run homer from prospect Dominic Ficociello, another homer from Alex Presley, and an RBI single courtesy of Dixon Machado.

The Yankees peppered Drew VerHagen for a pair of homers, then jumped on reliever Jairo Labourt, all of which was enough to drop the Tigers to a 2-3 record in the first week of Grapefruit League play.

Daniel Norris started for the Tigers and agreed during a clubhouse visit afterward that the good news, for him, was that he gave up no Yankees runs.

The bad news: He threw 40 pitches in 12/3 innings. Norris had a tormented outing, in terms of command, but his fastball had steam as he allowed only a single, while striking out one and walking one.

VerHagen arrived in the third and had a traumatic time, allowing four runs on five hits, including the two homers. He struck out three in his 12/3-inning shift.

Labourt, a left-hander with a powerhouse fastball that doesn’t always behave, was slapped for four runs on three hits and a pair of walks.

Ficociello, a switch-hitting first baseman from the University of Arkansas, got the Tigers on the board in the seventh when he rocketed his three-run bomb into the right-field seats.

The Tigers play split-squad games Wednesday, against the Nationals at Lakeland, and the Blue Jays at Dunedin.