LAKELAND, Fla. -- The Blue Jays brought close to their Opening Day lineup to town and feasted on an injury-shortened start by former teammate Daniel Norris, using home runs from Troy Tulowitzki and Justin Smoak in a 16-1 win over the Tigers on Tuesday afternoon at Joker Marchant Stadium.
Norris, making his fourth spring appearance as he vies for the fifth spot in Detroit's rotation, left with lower back stiffness after 25 pitches against six hitters, the last five of which reached base safely. After Josh Donaldson deposited a bloop single into right field, Jose Bautista battled Norris for a nine-pitch walk. Tulowitzki sent a 93 mph fastball from Norris to the left-field berm for a 3-0 lead and his fourth homer of the spring.
After Chris Colabello's ensuing double and back-to-back high fastballs for balls to Smoak, Norris was out, walking gingerly back to the Tigers' clubhouse.
Colabello, who finished a homer shy of the cycle, added a two-run triple off Minor Leaguer Dustin Molleken an inning later. Smoak jumped on a 95 mph fastball from Tigers relief candidate Bobby Parnell and sent it off the back of the bullpen fence in right field for a solo homer, his third of the spring, in the fifth. Tulowitzki drove in another pair of runs later in the inning.
Darrell Ceciliani's three-run homer off Whit Mayberry in the seventh extended the margin.
"Let's be honest: The Blue Jays clubbed the ball today," Tigers manager Brad Ausmus said. "It really didn't go well for any of our pitchers. I think it was just one of those days."
Blue Jays starter Drew Hutchison allowed a first-inning ground-rule double to Nick Castellanos, which scored Miguel Cabrera. Hutchison held Detroit hitless for the remainder of his four-frame outing.
"Obviously the two walks in the first were the only thing I wasn't pleased with, but I liked how I rebounded after that and attacked the zone," Hutchison said.
Up next for the Blue Jays: The fifth-starter competition continues Wednesday in Dunedin, Fla., when Aaron Sanchez faces the Mets at 1:07 p.m. ET at Florida Auto Exchange Stadium. The game can be heard exclusively at bluejays.com. Sanchez and fellow righty Gavin Floyd have each been pitching well in their bids to make Toronto's rotation. Sanchez enters Wednesday with a 1.98 ERA in four Grapefruit League outings (two starts).
Up next for the Tigers: Following Wednesday's off-day, the Tigers renew their rivalry against the Blue Jays with a 1:05 p.m. ET matchup in Dunedin. The game can be heard live on Gameday Audio. Matt Boyd, the former Jays prospect who was part of the David Price trade last July, will try to continue his quest for the fifth spot in the Tigers' rotation against his old club's power-packed lineup.
Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. Read Beck's Blog, follow him on Twitter @beckjason and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.