Pirates kick off spring training schedule with win

LAKELAND, Fla. (AP) – Francisco Cervelli homered in his first at-bat of the spring and Kyle Lobstein pitched two scoreless innings against his former team, leading the Pittsburgh Pirates over the Detroit Tigers 4-2 Tuesday.

Cervelli connected off Matt Boyd, who started 10 games for the Tigers last season.

“It was nothing but luck,” said Cervelli, who hit seven homers for the Pirates last year and led the team with a .295 batting average. “It felt good to hit one in my first at-bat this spring.”

Lobstein gave up one hit and two walks. The lefty was 3-8 in 13 starts for Detroit last year.

Jordy Mercer also homered for Pittsburgh.

Victor Martinez hit a long homer, singled and drove in two runs for the Tigers. He is coming off a left knee injury that held him to 120 games last season.

“I think he’s ready to roll,” Tigers manager Brad Ausmus said. “He looked comfortable.”

“He is just noticeably stronger,” he said. “He’s been talking with (hitting coach) Wally (Joyner) and he just looks stronger. I know he’s coming off a knee injury, but so far, so good.”


Pirates: Lobstein had been with the Tigers organization ever since signing his first professional contract.

“Yeah, it felt a little different because I know all of those guys and spent a few springs here, but I like my new team and have good memories of my old team,” he said.

Tigers: Boyd is competing for one of the spots at the end of the rotation.

“I felt fine all day except for giving up the home run,” he said. “It’s still early.”

Boyd was 1-6 in 12 starts last season with stints in Toronto and Detroit.


Tigers: RHP Anibal Sanchez is expected to throw a session in the bullpen after discomfort in his right forearm. Ausmus said he could be ready to pitch in a spring game by Thursday. … OF Cameron Maybin is also expected back by Thursday, He is suffering from a shoulder injury when he slipped and fell while holding his child before spring training.

“He said his shoulder the past two days has felt much stronger,” Ausmus said. “So he’s moving in the right direction.”


Pirates: Jeff Locke will start in Pittsburgh’s Grapefruit League home opener against the Tigers on Tuesday. Juan Nicasio, Jared Hughes, Arquimes Caminero, Eric O’Flaherty and Jorge Rondon are also set to pitch for the Pirates.

Tigers: Buck Farmer, who started five games for the Tigers last season, will open vs. Pittsburgh.