Kinsler, V-Mart fuel Tigers' outburst vs. Braves

Kinsler, V-Mart fuel Tigers' outburst vs. Braves

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Ian Kinsler's bases-loaded double was the highlight of a four-run third inning as the Tigers took advantage of highly touted prospect Sean Newcomb's control issues in an 8-2 win over the Braves on Thursday afternoon at ESPN's Wide World of Sports Complex.

Victor Martinez led off the fourth inning with a home run, extending the offensive surge that he sparked with a first-inning RBI single off Newcomb. The 22-year-old hurler, who ranks as MLBPipeline's fourth-best left-handed pitching prospect, threw just 11 of his 31 pitches for strikes as he surrendered a pair of hits and issued four walks while facing nine batters over one-plus innings.

Newcomb's outing concluded with consecutive walks to open the second inning, and in the third, Tigers feasted on Chris Volstad, who surrendered three doubles during the four-run inning and Martinez's homer, the veteran switch-hitter's second of the young Grapefruit League season.

Newcomb on spring debut

Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman's two-out solo homer in the first inning was the only run Tigers starter Daniel Norris surrendered over his two innings of work.

"I just want to slow down a little bit, breathe a little better," Norris said of his outing. "I was first-outing kind of anxious."

Freeman arrived in camp last week expecting to take a cautious approach with his injured right wrist, but he has already recorded a home run and a double through his first two Grapefruit League games.

"Everything is going well, no pain," Freeman said. "I've got a consistent medical plan, and I just want to keep that going."

Shane Greene's two scoreless innings were another encouraging sign for the Tigers, as the right-hander missed most of last season's final two months due to an aneurysm that was causing numbness in his right hand.

Atlanta's top prospect, Dansby Swanson, doubled in the bottom of the ninth.

Up next for the Tigers: Manager Brad Ausmus will field what looks like a potential Opening Day lineup on Friday when the Tigers host the Yankees at Joker Marchant Stadium in a game that will start at 1:05 p.m. ET and air on Gameday Audio. That lineup includes Opening Day starter Justin Verlander, who will make his first outing of the spring as he tries to build on an impressive finish to 2015. Bryan Mitchell is scheduled to start for the Yankees.

Up next for the Braves: Ender Inciarte and Hector Olivera will be in the starting lineup when Atlanta travels to Clearwater, Fla., to play the Phillies on Friday. The game will start at 1:05 p.m. and air on MLB.TV. Highly regarded pitching prospect Lucas Sims will make the start for the Braves. Arodys Vizcaino will be among the pitchers who follow Sims. Swanson and Ozzie Albies are both slated to make the trip.

Mark Bowman is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.