Notes: Rogers efficient on the mound

Notes: Rogers efficient on the mound

LAKELAND, Fla. -- Kenny Rogers is just starting to round his game into shape. The way Mets hitters reacted Wednesday looked like a typical Rogers game.

Facing the Mets for the second time in six days, Rogers broke a couple of bats and sent a couple more flying out of hitters' hands as they reached at pitches they couldn't make solid contact on. Rogers threw so well, so efficiently, that Tigers coaches gave him a fifth inning of work so he could approach his pitch count, and he could've gone longer. He set the tone for a quick 2-0 victory that lasted just two hours, 10 minutes.

By the time he was done with his postgame treatment, the game was long since over.

"It was vintage type Kenny," Tigers manager Jim Leyland said.

There were bad swings on both teams, Leyland cautioned, but he didn't want to take away from Rogers. Carlos Beltran's first-inning double into the left-field corner was the only extra-base hit off him. The other two hits he allowed were infield singles.

For Rogers, the broken and lost bats were good signs of both location and late movement, though they're usually not something he sees.

"Usually I'm chucking and ducking," Rogers said. "This time I'm just trying to get out of the way of those bats."

He doesn't expect to break many bats, he said, but he expects lots of ground balls. That'll come more in later starts when he finishes off his repertoire with more sinkers and curveballs. This was his first start throwing sinkers this spring.

His arm will let him know when the time is right to work in the curveballs. The way he was going today, he didn't have long to think about it.

"If I can get through less pitches and more innings, I'll take it every time," he said.

Jones not suspended for ejection: Todd Jones was glad to hear the news that he'll receive just a fine from Major League Baseball for his ejection last Saturday, when he threw a pitch behind Red Sox batter J.D. Drew.

"I'm thankful they did [decide that]," said Jones.

Manager Jim Leyland said he talked with Bob Watson, MLB vice president of on-field operations, and considers the matter closed.

"It's all over with," Leyland said. "Everything's been resolved."

Nonchalant, not lazy: A day after criticizing his team for what he called "nonchalant play" in Tuesday's loss to the Dodgers, Leyland tried to strike a difference between that and poor play.

Asked if he had any problem with players hustling, Leyland said, "I'm very pleased with everybody's approach. I think the attitude's been good. I think we know we've got a lot of work ahead of us.

"I think Spring Training's a real delicate time starting about now, because everybody's pumped up usually to start, then you get to that little lull where they think they're ready and they look and see they've got three weeks to go. So it's normal in all camps, and there's not really a whole lot you can do about it, or really want to do about it. It's part of the process."

Asked about Tuesday's play, Leyland said. "I think it was just nonchalant. People weren't dogging it. They were just nonchalant. That's not acceptable."

Thursday will provide a little break from those spring doldrums. The Tigers have their first night game of the spring in Viera, and Leyland is using it as a way to give his players the morning off. The Tigers won't make the bus trip until mid-afternoon, but even players who aren't on the travel roster won't have to report for workouts at Joker Marchant Stadium until early afternoon.

"I don't mind going there at all, to be honest with you," Leyland said. "I think it's actually, once in a while, a nice little breather. I'm going to play golf with the coaches in the morning. Have a good time, have a little fun, be here by noon and ready to leave. It breaks up the routine a little bit, lets the guys sleep in a little bit."

Injury updates: Craig Monroe returned to the lineup as a designated hitter Wednesday against the Mets, his first game action since leaving Friday's game at Port St. Lucie with patellar tendinitis in his left ankle. He's scheduled to make the trip on Thursday and catch up on at-bats.

Ryan Raburn also is scheduled to make the trip Thursday. He also hasn't played since Friday, when he injured his left ankle running into the outfield fence.

Coming up: The Tigers travel to Viera to face the Nationals on Thursday at 7:05 p.m. ET. Justin Verlander will start opposite Matt Chico. Zach Miner, Chad Durbin, Dennis Tankersley, Preston Larrison and Tim Byrdak are also slated to pitch. The positional roster for the trip includes Ivan Rodriguez, Sean Casey, Placido Polanco, Carlos Guillen, Omar Infante, Craig Monroe and Marcus Thames.

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