LAKELAND, Fla. — Julio Teheran’s spring debut was hardly a breeze.
Hoping to earn a spot in Atlanta’s rotation, Teheran was tagged for six home runs in just two innings, and the Detroit Tigers connected nine times overall Sunday in romping past the Braves 18-3.
With a strong wind blowing out to right field, the Tigers teed off against Teheran and the Braves. Prince Fielder homered, and Ryan Raburn hit two shots, including a grand slam.
“It was a tough day for anyone to pitch,” Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said. “With the conditions we had today, I am not about to count anyone out. When the wind is blowing the way it was today, all you are asking for is trouble.”
Tigers manager Jim Leyland said he could understand what Teheran was going through too.
“This was just one of those silly games,” he said. “Everything hit into the wind toward right field helped. It was just a freak thing. We just kept hitting everything to right field, so that doesn’t say anything about [Teheran]. I don’t like winning games like that.”
The post-1900 record for homers allowed in a major league regular season game, by the way, is six. That’s happened eight times, most recently by Tampa Bay’s James Shields in 2010 against Toronto, STATS LLC said. Tim Wakefield and R.A. Dickey also are on the list.
Teheran allowed only five homers while going 15-3 at Triple-A Gwinnett last season. He had a rougher time in the majors, giving up four homers in 19? innings.
With Atlanta ace Tim Hudson out until May with a back injury, there are at least two openings on the Braves’ staff, and Teheran is near the top of the list to get one.
Alex Avila’s homer helped the Tigers take a four-run lead in the first against Randall Delgado. Teheran took over in the second, and Raburn and Brennan Boesch homered.
In the third, Prince Fielder homered into the wind, and Delmon Young followed with another drive. Jhonny Peralta and Austin Jackson followed with two more, and the Tigers led 11-0 after three.
Fielder said he didn’t need any help from the elements.
“None of my homers are ever wind-aided,” he laughed. “They don’t have to be.”
Max Scherzer made his spring debut for the Tigers and allowed three hits in two scoreless innings. Closer Jose Valverde pitched a shutout inning.
Reds top Indians
GOODYEAR, Ariz. — Ubaldo Jimenez feels like he did in the spring of 2010 when he won 19 games and pitched a no-hitter. A rough spring debut doesn’t make him feel any differently.
Jimenez allowed five runs, only one earned, in one inning on Sunday, and the Reds earned an 8-6 victory over the Indians.
The Indians obtained Jimenez at the trade deadline last season after a 6-9 start at Colorado. He was 4-4 in 11 starts with Cleveland after the deal.
“It doesn’t look good in the papers, but I threw the ball good,” Jimenez said. “They kept hitting bloopers. Only one guy hit the ball hard. People that know baseball know that things like this happen.”
Jimenez put on eight pounds of muscle on his lower body over the winter. Now at 218 pounds, he is working on getting his stride down to have a better season than last year’s injury-filled one.
“The hitters will tell you he has good stuff,” Cleveland manager Manny Acta said. “They were choppers and bloopers because a lot of guys were getting jammed.”
Homer Bailey and Aroldis Chapman, competing for the fifth spot in the Reds’ rotation, each pitched two innings.
Shelley Duncan hit a three-run home run off Bailey. Duncan is trying to earn the starting left field job for Cleveland.
Bailey was also working on his pitches. He walked Russ Canzler on a 3-2 curve ball to set up Duncan’s shot to left field.
“I thought it was a good high fastball, but Shelley got on top of it somehow,” Bailey said. “The walk hurt more. The 2-2 pitch was close, and I would have never thrown a 3-2 curve ball with a five-run lead in the regular season.”