Detroit Tigers starting pitcher Max Scherzer throws in the first inning of an exhibition spring training baseball game against the St. Louis Cardinals, Monday, March 10, 2014, in Jupiter, Fla. (AP Photo/David Goldman)
JUPITER, Fla. — Two-time AL MVP Miguel Cabrera hit his first two home runs of spring training and AL Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer struck out five in 4 2-3 scoreless innings Monday during the Detroit Tigers’ 17-5 romp over the St. Louis Cardinals.
Cabrera a go-ahead, two-run homer off Shelby Miller in a seven-run third inning and another two-run drive against Keith Butler in an eight-run fourth as Detroit built a 15-0 lead. The Tigers made 17-0 on Steven Moya’s two-run double in the eighth.
“You feel like this could happen every day,” Detroit manager Brad Ausmus said. “Obviously it won’t, but it could.”
Scherzer allowed two hits and a walk.
“Right now I’m very sharp,” Scherzer said. “Usually it takes a while to get all the pitches going. Right now I feel very good about where all my pitches are at — all four. I was generating swings and misses on all four of them.”
St. Louis pitchers allowed double-digit runs for the second straight day and 22 hits.
Nick Castellanos hit a three-run homer for the Tigers in the fourth. Prospect Stephen Piscotty hit a three-run homer in the seventh for the Cardinals, his first of spring training.
St. Louis: Miller gave up two runs and five hits in 2 1-3 innings, while Stoppelman gave up five runs and five hits while getting just two outs. Tyler Lyons also got just two outs, allowing seven runs and six hits.
“I felt like my fastball command wasn’t near as good as I wanted it to be but you’re going to have days where you are a little off,” Miller said. “Obviously, I didn’t want to give up any runs but at the same time, I felt good. I thought I am getting better out there.”
Detroit: Justin Verlander is set to make his first start of spring training on Tuesday against Toronto after recording from core muscle repair surgery. His first scheduled start was rained out, and Verlander opted to throw in a batting cage.
Detroit manager Brad Ausmus said outfielder Andy Dirks’ back surgery was successful. Dirks is expected to need 12 weeks to recover.
St. Louis manager Mike Matheny said Oscar Taveras (hamstring) is moving well, but the Cardinals aren’t going to rush him. The Cardinals’ top prospect missed most of spring training while recovering from offseason ankle surgery.
Shortstop Aledmys Diaz, who signed last weekend, will begin the season in the minors. The Cardinals will give him some time in major league spring training games, but that won’t happen for at least a few days. Diaz has to return to Mexico, where he’s been living since his defection, to obtain a U.S. work visa.
Peter Bourjos and Jon Jay are battling to become the Cardinals’ starting centerfielder. On Monday they were both in the starting lineup for the first time this spring training. Bourjos covered plenty of ground in center and went 2 for 2, while Jay played right field and went 0 for 2 with a walk.
Lou Villano had to make a quick trip from the field to the press box. The official scorer for the Cardinals’ high Class A affiliate in Palm Beach sung the national anthem, then returned to the press box where he inputs the data for MLB.com.