Miggy gets 2 hits, doubles in run vs. Braves

Tigers' offense springs to life with eight-run eighth inning

Miggy gets 2 hits, doubles in run vs. Braves

LAKELAND, Fla. -- Right-hander Jordan Zimmermann took a step toward putting an injury-plagued 2016 season behind him with two solid innings in his first Grapefruit League start this spring before an eight-run eighth inning sent the Tigers to a 10-7 win over the Braves on Monday at Joker Marchant Stadium.

Freddie Freeman went 2-for-3 with three RBIs while Adonis Garcia had three hits and two RBIs as the Braves built a 6-2 lead, but Andrew Romine's two-run double -- a fly ball that Micah Johnson lost in the sun -- and Miguel Gonzalez's two-run single put the Tigers ahead for good.

"It was a good day other than that inning," Braves manager Brian Snitker said. "We've been pretty clean all spring. We did some fundamental things really well today and then had the one inning, where we probably checked all of the boxes for how you can screw an inning up."

Zimmermann, whose neck issues limited him to three starts over the final three months of last season, has said he feels good this spring but acknowledged the adrenaline of game action would be his big test. He seemed to pass that, retiring his final four batters after Garcia lofted a double over Nicholas Castellanos' head and down the left-field line for Atlanta's first run.

"Maybe I was a little amped up today, getting back on the mound for the first time in a while," Zimmermann said. "I will be a little sore tomorrow, but normal soreness."

• Zimmermann encouraged after first outing

Zimmermann gave up a run on two hits with a strikeout over two innings before Atlanta pounced on Anibal Sanchez for three runs on four hits in the third. Freeman smacked a line drive to center for two of those runs, one of five consecutive Braves to reach base safely before Sanchez -- fighting to regain a spot in the Tigers' rotation after a season-long struggle in 2016 -- retired his final three batters, the last on a diving stop down the line by Castellanos.

Dansby Swanson added to Atlanta's onslaught with three hits, including a fourth-inning RBI double off Jeff Ferrell.

Miguel Cabrera poked an R.A. Dickey knuckleball into the right-field corner for an RBI double in the opening inning, part of a two-hit game for Cabrera. Castellanos walked and scored on a Travis Demeritte error in the second inning before making a diving stop down the third-base line to end Sanchez's struggles in the third.

"That lineup is a great lineup," Dickey said. "I got a lot of swings and misses, so I felt really good today. Both Miggy's hit and [Ian Kinsler's first-inning single] were not well struck. One was off the handle and one was off the barrel. So those are two good hitters and good pitches. It was a good day for me."

WHAT'S NEXT

Braves: Matt Kemp and Ender Inciarte are expected to be in the lineup when Atlanta hosts St. Louis on Tuesday in a 1:05 p.m. ET game that will air on Gameday Audio. Mike Foltynewicz will be scheduled to complete two innings in what will be his first start of the year. Foltynewicz is the favorite to win the final open spot in Atlanta's rotation.

Tigers: Daniel Norris will make his first start of the spring as he tries to hold down a spot in Detroit's rotation when the Tigers visit the Yankees on Tuesday for a 1:05 p.m. start in Tampa. Masahiro Tanaka will make his spring debut for New York against a Tigers lineup that includes Ian Kinsler, Justin Upton, Castellanos, James McCann, Mikie Mahtook and Steven Moya.

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Jason Beck has covered the Tigers for MLB.com since 2002. Read Beck's Blog, follow him on Twitter @beckjason and listen to his podcast.

Mark Bowman has covered the Braves for MLB.com since 2001.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.