Towles' homer, four RBIs lead way

Towles' homer, four RBIs lead way

at Kissimmee, Fla.
Tuesday, March 4

Tigers at the plate: Placido Polanco was 3-for-3 with a double, an RBI and two runs scored. Timo Perez was 2-for-3 with a run scored. Freddy Guzman was 2-for-3 with an RBI and a stolen base. Ivan Rodriguez hit a home run on the first pitch of the game. Wilken Ramirez knocked a two-run homer off Josh Muecke in the eighth. Detroit finished with 19 hits.

Astros at the plate: J.R. Towles was 3-for-3 with two doubles, a home run and four RBIs. He knocked a three-run homer to contribute to the Astros' six-run fourth. Darin Erstad was 2-for-3 with a run scored. Geoff Blum knocked a two-run double in the fourth. Houston finished with 17 hits.

Tigers on the mound: Starter Nate Robertson pitched three scoreless innings, allowing two hits while striking out four. Todd Jones allowed five hits and six runs over one inning.

Astros on the mound: Starter Roy Oswalt allowed four runs, but only one was earned, over three innings. Miguel Tejada made two errors at shorstop -- one in the first and one in the third -- that contributed to the unearned runs. Geoff Geary weathered an interesting ninth to finish off the win.

Grapefruit League records: Tigers 3-3; Astros 2-5.

Up next: The Tigers have split-squad games scheduled for Wednesday. They will host the Phillies at Joker Marchant Stadium at 1:05 p.m. ET, and half the team will travel to Bradenton, Fla., to play the Pirates, also at 1:05 p.m. Justin Verlander will start the home game, while Yorman Bazardo will start the road game. The Astros will travel to St. Petersburg, Fla., to play the Rays at 1:05 p.m. Right-hander Runelvys Hernandez, a non-roster invitee competing for a rotation spot, will face Rays righty Jason Hammel.

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